A barge in Bristol seems an unlikely setting for a breakfast talk. But that’s where we found ourselves on a crisp cold January morning, joining communications expert David Sloly for the latest West of England Design Forum Espresso Sessions event.

David runs Bristol-based marketing automation agency Harvey David, and has a wealth of experience working with businesses such as Google, BAE Systems and Lloyds Bank on applying storytelling systems to their messaging.

Creating niche, authentic stories is the most powerful way to create a ‘signal’ that cuts through the wall of noise that surrounds us these days, particularly online.

David’s session took us through the steps needed to craft truly compelling stories. We won’t give all his secrets away (although if you really want to know them you can buy his book), but his focal point throughout was the ‘three acts’: the Challenge, the Struggle and the Resolve.


(image: WEDF)

We were asked to be a participant in the session, exploring Ready’s own story. It was an enlightening process, with David honing in on the fact that our founders Jake and Shane left Future plc to set up their own agency (the challenge), won their first clients and built a reputation in the publishing industry but then had to prove themselves in other sectors (the struggle), and finally the resolve – we can apply our expertise in creative campaigns to any sector.

The key takeout for us was that storytelling systems can be effectively applied pretty much anywhere – websites, pitches, content, client work, new business meetings. We’ll definitely be incorporating David’s ideas into all of these and more.

Check out David Sloly’s TedxBristol talk on storytelling…