Process Post #5: Learning how to write a corporate backstory

This past week, Suzanne invited another guest speaker, Lauren Cheal from ECHO Storytelling to lecture, who provided the class with some advice on how to write our corporate or brand backstories. She showed various illustrations including heartwarming videos from Google and another I found very interesting, which was a TED Talk by Simon Sinek.

Sinek explains that one’s “why” and/or bigger purpose for achieving a goal is what people connect with. He further gives infamous examples including the Wright Brothers as well as the technology giant, Apple. Although other companies that are similar to Apple possess the sufficient means/have hired individuals who are just as capable to create the desired hardware/technology, these resources were not enough to compete with Apple because consumers did not relate to their “why.”

What I liked about Cheal’s presentation is that she further broke down the fundamentals most backstories encompass. These fundamentals essentially generate a useful template people can refer to when devising a story. She also mentioned relevant points that I often observe in various ads as well. Some of these points are “making an emotional connection,” “getting them excited,” and evoking certain feelings (Cheal, 2020). According to John Hodgman, one should focus on the “specificity” as it “is the soul of the narrative” (Cheal, 2020).

We also participated in an activity involving “How,” “Who,” “What,” “When,” “Where” and “Why.” The class was allowed to be creative and draw upon well-known tales. Some tales my fellow classmates chose were Shrek and Game of Thrones. Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed the presentation. I am considering taking the concepts I learnt and thoroughly edit the backstory I already wrote for the week’s Canvas discussion before officially adding it to this site. The next stage would be figuring out the placing.  I hope to engage with my audience even more by doing so.


Cheal, L. (2020). How To Tell A Great Story [PowerPoint slides]. Retrieved from: SFU Canvas

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