Core Skill: Communicating "The Hero's Journey"

Barry Ptolemy: For me I like to provide a hero in a narrative context and then allow my viewer to associate with that hero and let that hero’s struggle become their struggle.  And when you do that you actually create this magical bond with your audience and they become onboard for whatever you have to say.

In terms of the business leader communicating, let people know what your objective is and then discuss the challenges that you’re going to face to get there and what’s going to happen and how the world’s going to change if we do make it there.  It's very important to take people from this negative poll to the positive poll and back and forth because that is what grips a viewer, and t hat is what grips an audience and that is what's gonna get people's attention.

Steve Jobs is very well known for doing this and he talks about this new line of product that he’s going to bring out, this iPad, how it’s going to change the world and then what happens if we don’t change the world, if we fail. And then he brings it up again, he goes “isn’t’ this a great product,” taking people, the viewer, on this journey.  It can be a short journey but taking them from this kind of natural valley to mountaintop view that affords people at the climax a new way of looking at the world.  It makes for great theatrical presentations.


Directed / Produced by
Jonathan Fowler & Elizabeth Rodd

Tactics from successful storytelling can be leveraged in order to communicate any idea, from business to politics, says filmmaker Barry Ptolemy.

Photo: Luisa Conlon , Lacy Roberts and Hanna Miller / Global Oneness Project
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