Authentic Storytelling vs. Scripted Messages

Bill Daley


Well… turnabout is fair play. Earlier this week, I blogged about a pretty uninspiring political video. It was produced by one of the many people running for governor here in Illinois. My post was non-political, but the video happened to feature a Republican. Today… the Democrats prove they can serve-up average storytelling as well.

Bill Daley is known to many around Illinois… especially Chicago. What the Kennedy’s are to Massachusetts, the Daley’s are to Chicago. The point is Daley doesn’t really have to introduce himself, but that name recognition also comes with a problem.

Storytelling and Trust

The Daley’s are the embodiment of the Chicago political machine. That’s not good downstate. Safe to say… Daley has a trust issue.

He announced his candidacy this week with a video (VIDEO BELOW) designed to turn that around. For me anyway, it fell flat and the reason is simple.

It features Daley clearly reading a scripted message from a teleprompter. He trashes the state’s current condition… not difficult to do… and positions himself as the man to change it.

Yawn. You know the thing about scripted messages? That’s how they sound. Scripted.

Speak from the heart instead from a teleprompter

I’ll take someone speaking from the heart any day over some finely crafted message. Whether it’s a politician or company marketing itself. It’s something I frequently promote to our clients. Some are a little concerned about giving-up a degree of control over their message, but I always tell them what they give-up in control… they get back in authenticity. That’s a big deal.

Don’t handcuff your people by forcing them to read or memorize copy that’s been written for them. Just sit them down, asked them some questions, and get them talking.

What you’ll get back is a genuine message that audiences will appreciate.

–Tony Gnau

Tony Gnau is a three-time Emmy-winning journalist. He is also the founder and chief storytelling officer at T60 Productions. T60 has won 11 Telly Awards for its work over the last eight years.

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