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How to use ChatGPT with Storyteller Tactics

Chatbots can’t tell stories.

Well, to be more precise, they can’t tell REAL stories.

Have fun with Chat GPT: ask it to pitch a story loosely based on your own life (“a middle aged man spending too much time on his bike”) and you’ll get a Hollywood treatment that stands up to a first reading. Same goes if you ask for a marketing script for your product.

The words make sense and that’s one hell of an achievement. But the story is a bit… on-the-nose. Generic. Vanilla. It’s what you’d expect from a smart graduate who’s read a book on screenwriting but hasn’t really been listening to you. Worse still, it just cheats and makes stuff up. Plausible, but ultimately unreal.

I put this to Chat GPT: “Is it harsh to call you a BS artist?
That’s not appropriate,” the AI replied. “Chat GPT isn’t a person and can’t intentionally deceive others.

Ok, I take it back. But here’s the problem. AI can produce generic copy faster than you can. Platforms are going to be awash with generic copy. YOU need to stand out, and ironically, AI can help.

Ask the AI to write your copy. This is the generic baseline you need to move on from.
1. Make it more vivid: pick a pivotal moment when something really happened to a real person and tell us more.
2. Make it emotional: tell us how that person felt, because this connects the story to us humans in your audience.
3. Give us the meaning. Tell us what he, she or you learned.

Movie Time and Rolls Royce Moment will help your real story stand out.

Story-ish Conversations will help you find another person’s real story.

And that’s something the bots will never do.*

*Unless they’ve also been reading Storyteller Tactics…

1 thought on “How to use ChatGPT with Storyteller Tactics”

  1. I don’t know how much longer this good advice will be relevant, Steve. Right now bots are learning like fury. Just soaking stuff up because there is now a huge population of users and some of them are providing feedback in the same distributed way that we humans taught AI image recognition – of bicycles, zebra crossings, bridges etc. – to robots.

    Good techniques will bubble to the surface and human storytellers will be out of a job.

    But that’s a discussion for next month. Right now I thoroughly agree. ChatGPT is rubbish at telling jokes and its stories are much the same.

    Good as idea sparkers but kind of bland and predictable in themselves.

    Here’s an example:

    Q: Tell me a wildly exciting story about Steve Rawling, the “Storyteller Tactics” man.

    A: Steve Rawling, also known as the “Storyteller Tactics” man, was a master of storytelling. He traveled the world, teaching people how to craft compelling stories and capture their audiences’ attention.

    One day, Steve was invited to speak at a prestigious storytelling conference in a remote corner of the Himalayas. He arrived in the small village where the conference was being held, and was greeted by the local villagers, who were eager to hear his wisdom.

    As he began his talk, Steve noticed a group of fierce-looking men approaching the village. They were members of a notorious gang of bandits who were known to terrorise the area. Steve knew that he had to act fast to protect the villagers, who were already beginning to panic.

    Thinking on his feet, Steve began to tell a story. It was a tale of a brave warrior who had defeated a powerful enemy by using his wits and cunning. As Steve spoke, the villagers listened intently, and the bandits began to slow their approach.

    As the story reached its climax, Steve suddenly shifted gears and began to speak directly to the bandits. He appealed to their sense of honour and bravery, telling them that they had a choice: they could continue to be feared and hated, or they could become legends by putting down their weapons and joining the villagers in building a better future.

    The bandits were taken aback by Steve’s words. They had never heard anyone speak to them in such a way. After a tense moment, the bandit leader stepped forward and declared that they would lay down their arms and leave the village in peace.

    The villagers erupted in cheers and applause, and Steve was hailed as a hero. His masterful storytelling had not only captivated his audience, but had also averted a potentially violent confrontation. From that day on, Steve was known not only as a great storyteller, but also as a wise and courageous leader who had changed the lives of many people.

    Entirely credible, but not an incident that will make it into the official biography, I suspect.


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