In this Expert Insight Interview, Tamsen Webster discusses finding your red thread and simple ways to change how people see you and what they do as a result. Tamsen Webster is a part-keynote speaker part-message strategist, all about building ideas. She has 20 years in marketing,13 years as a Weight Watchers Leader, and four years as TEDx Executive Producer under her belt.
This Expert Insight Interview discusses:
- The concept of the red thread
- The classical storytelling elements used by our brains to understand real-life events
- Why humans are hard-wired for stories
The Red Thread
A red thread is a story we tell ourselves to make things make sense. Human beings are wired to look for a cause-and-effect link, so whenever we see something happen, we always look for an explanation as to why it happened in exactly the way that it did.
This is essentially what the red thread is — the connection our brain makes between these two things, making them make sense with each other.
Classical Storytelling Elements
We can draw from classical storytelling to figure out what people look at when creating their red thread. There’s a reason why traditional stories have the elements that they do — those are the elements that our brain needs to explain, justify, and fully understand the transformation that all stories are about.
All stories boil down to five elements:
- The goal
- A problem that the protagonist did not know about that gets in the way
- A moment of truth where the problem becomes impossible to ignore
- A choice
- The actions that bring that choice about
- These are all the elements that we need to explain, persuade, and help people find our ideas irresistible.
Hard-Wired for Stories
Most of us come from cultures with oral storytelling traditions. Storytellers, poets, and musicians have been highly regarded in our society for centuries. Therefore, we’re hard-wired for this form of storytelling, backed up by tons of research.
Even before we consciously think about a situation, our brain is trying to find things like characters, events, and motivations. The thought that we believe we are just having has already been through the part of our brain that makes it into a story.
John is the Amazon bestselling author of Winning the Battle for Sales: Lessons on Closing Every Deal from the World’s Greatest Military Victories and Social Upheaval: How to Win at Social Selling. A globally acknowledged Sales & Marketing thought leader, speaker, and strategist. He is CSMO at Pipeliner CRM. In his spare time, John is an avid Martial Artist.