A play in three acts - storytelling for companies

A story is only as good as how you tell it. Even though storytelling is now a widely used and familiar term, there are few clues as to how a company tells its story "well". Live communications firm Habegger specializes in dramaturgical storytelling. In an interview, Samuel Röthlisberger, Director of Creation at Habegger AG and storytelling expert, provides insights into his work.


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What is "storytelling"? How would you summarize this term?

Samuel: Today it is more important than ever to arouse interest in the target group. This happens primarily via relevance. Storytelling is the ideal tool to create this relevance, because arousing empathy and emotions makes me interested in something - even if it doesn't directly affect me.


How do you put Habegger and the term "storytelling" together?

In addition to finding the story, the "how to tell" also plays a major role, i.e. the dramaturgy. This is exactly where we can support clients with our many years of experience. We don't just invent a story, we look for it together with the client and help to tell the story in a way that remains exciting until the end.


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How do you go about finding the "how"?

To do this, our focus is on the question: What do visitors, guests or the public expect? And how can we exceed these expectations? Exceeding expectations is the big secret. By doing so, we create memorable moments and thus a lasting memory. That's why in a story we look for how to package the message and the core element of a story in a surprising way.


Why are people so receptive to stories?

Because stories make our head cinema run. Our brain likes to imagine things, to be guided by emotions. Stories trigger very individual reactions and each reader, listener or viewer feels addressed in his or her own way. Apart from that, it's a wonderful pastime. From my experience, however, I can say that the more personal a story is, the more attentively people listen.


Does every company have the potential for storytelling?

Absolutely. But it often takes an external perspective to discover the stories at all. What is everyday and familiar for some can be very exciting and impressive for others. Here, a change of perspective is certainly purposeful.


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What are your specific tips for companies that want to tell stories?

1. you have to look for stories in people.

Which person had the idea for a product, why and under what circumstances? How difficult was the path from prototype to final product? What obstacles were overcome to ultimately be able to serve other people's needs with it? It's about showing the heart and soul and passion. No matter how insignificant something seems, behind every detail of a product or project there is an idea, a vision and people.

2. the dramaturgy is crucial.

There are well-known narrative structures that you can use. I like to use that of opera, where the piece is divided into three acts. In the opening act, the situation is described, in the second act we learn something about the problem that is developing, and in the third act the solution follows. This structure has proven very successful in all areas of storytelling, and not without reason.


Do you think storytelling is gaining in importance?

It's always been important. But today we have many more opportunities and better access to other stories, because the threshold for producing your own content is lower and lower. You should take advantage of that as a company, too. People will always love stories.


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