Story Types for Speeches (and TV)

Each and every time I begin to structure a speech or presentation I consider which ‘story type’ to use (if it is suitable at all).

Not being particularly well-versed in these, I recently came across a couple of useful resources.

First, Nick Morgan’s description of the five “basic stories that Western culture has to make your speeches stronger, ‘stickier’ and more instantly graspable”:

  • The Quest (A cut-down version of everyone’s favourite; The Monomyth/Hero’s Journey?)
  • Stranger in a Strange Land
  • The Love Story
  • Rags to Riches
  • Revenge

Next, a large collection of TV tropes (via xkcd, of all places). A trope? As the site says,

A catalog of the tricks of the trade for writing fiction¬†[‚Ķ] devices and conventions that a writer can reasonably rely on as¬†being present in the audience members’ minds and¬†expectations.

Update: This handbook of rhetorical devices will also come in handy, surely. Carl has also produced a nice seven-stage guide to the mythic adventure.