The Art of Storytelling: Inspire, Inform, and Entertain

2 min read

Robert Redford was once asked, “what is the secret to making a great movie…?” He responded with, “You have to always do three things for the audience: inform, inspire, and entertain…”

How true! I am an avid moviegoer and my benchmark for a great movie has always been if I find myself walking to my car following the movie still mulling it over in my head. Yes, inform, inspire, and entertain!

I just finished doing my bi-weekly Million Dollar Career Show with Craig Picken and our topic today was storytelling and how powerful it can be for individuals and companies to be effective storytellers.

On the show, we talked about how Steve Jobs’ ability to tell stories and promote the iPhone in his periodic Ted Talks through the years changed the world we live in. I went back and watched a few of the earlier shows and he really did inform, inspire, and entertain his audiences with the early versions of the iPhone. He was a master storyteller. His Ted Talks are still amongst the most ever viewed.

We talked about how Jack Ma of Alibaba uses storytelling to relay his personal journey from a nobody to one of the world’s richest people. His stories are filled with emotion about his childhood and early professional years of overcoming adversity.

I would add to Redford’s take on what makes an ordinary movie a great movie – emotion and the obstacles people have to overcome. I also throw books in here as well. Any great book is informative, inspiring, and entertaining. Think Hemingway and Tolstoy.

Think about this in your next conversation with someone. Can you be more informative, inspiring, and entertaining? It won’t happen overnight or in your next conversation, but if you are more mindful of doing this, you will notice your interactions with others becoming richer and more fulfilling. And you will find people more actively listening to what you have to say too!

How does one hone this acquired skill? Again, it comes down to effectively listening. Listen and actively listen to the other person. Once you understand their individual wants and needs, only then you can begin to connect with them more effectively on an emotional level. And only then will you be able to put together a story uniquely tailored for them which incorporates

information, inspiration, and entertainment.

Inform. Inspire. Entertain.

Thank you, Robert Redford.


Rob Houghton

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