Learnings from the Godfather of Storytelling - Walt Disney

The STORY of Story

Storytelling is one of the most successful methods to captivate an audience, making it a valuable talent in a variety of professional settings. There are numerous methods for telling a tale, ranging from crafting a fictional narrative to shooting a thoughtful photograph. Being a skilled storyteller can open doors to a variety of job prospects and establish you as a valuable asset to employers. Your personal brand will depend on the way you narrate your story.

Walt Disney is known to be one of the best storytellers of all time. So here are a few learnings from the godfather of storytelling. Let us walk through the STORY of story through the lens of Walt Disney:

S - Simple

Keep it simple. Effective stories are not meant to be difficult to follow. Walt Disney used references from everyday life to make it easier for his audience to relate. He addressed complex issues such as discriminations, abuse and gender inequality in an effortless manner.  In the famous movie ‘Tangled’, the issue of parental abuse has been brought to light in the subtlest of attempts. Similarly, when we, as professional individuals, tell a tale to construct our personal brand, we should try to keep it straightforward.

T - Trail

Disney has a set path. It trails you through the story. You feel like you are gliding from the introduction of one character to the view of the house to the family dynamic. ‘Cinderella’ starts with an introduction to the life of a girl facing mistreatment from her step family and then the story trails to balls, dances, village life and finally, the marriage with the prince charming.  So, follow a fixed path. Form a trail. Take your story from point A to point B by gliding across your experiences, benchmarks, history and emotions.

O - Observe

Observation is key to storytelling. Disney understood human behavior well. He understood the psychology of action in kids and adults. He made appealing and relatable animations with almost realistic body movements and societal activities. The expressions and the fabric movement in ‘Snow White’ has been particularly praised for its attention to detail. So, for you to make a story around yourself that touches souls, it is important to deeply understand and observe your audience and surroundings.

R - Retract

Disney movies start with a point, trail around the storyline and end by coming to the same point, or they end by making sense of the beginning. This is an extremely important aspect of storytelling. When you tell a story, start with your beliefs and values, trail around suitable experiences and end with your achievements. This will give your audience a full circle of why you started, how you made progress and what you achieved.

Y - Yank

Disney made sure it highlighted the protagonist. ‘Bambi’ the movie had other important characters, but Bambi remained the highlight. Follow the same path for your personal brand story. Do mention the companies you have worked with and the experiences you have had. But, never let them overrule your values, your beliefs and the change you wish to bring about. Build your brand around YOU, not your employers or your educational qualifications.

Next time you sit down to watch a Disney movie, focus on these aspects that the godfather has left for us to study and learn from. Stories help us make sense of the world around us. So, the story you tell about yourself and the brand that you build out of yourself is crucial for others to make sense of you. And for that, if you are stuck, do it like Disney!

Want to receive emails?

Sign up to get an email every time a new blog is published.

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.