How to innovate - with storytelling

Tourism and Events Qld shared how to innovate using storytelling at our regional tourism industry conference
(Learn all about storytelling in TEQ’s Extraordinary Experiences through Storytelling guidebook!)

  • Rather than innovating with technology or infrastructure, innovate via storytelling! It's much less expensive.
  • We remember stories – imagine if history were taught with stories – we’d never forget what we learned, living the stories of the explorers.
  • Increased dopamine = increased memorability
  • Great stories make people think more so they remember more



  • promote wonder
  • make people care
  • help people remember
  • Stories are not a data dump. They are sensory, create emotional connections, memorable, and surprise and delight

Benefits of Storytelling

  • Innovate without expense
  • Improve visitor experience
  • Increase word of mouth recommendations
  • Increase repeat visitation
  • Promote your destination
  • Engage media and via public relations



There are templates for creating stories: monomyths, mountains, nested loops, sparklines, in media res, converging ideas, false starts, petals (see p. 20 of the Extraordinary Experiences Through Storytelling guide)


  • Create a Theme
  • Have an Organised, easy-to-follow story
  • Make it Relevant – ie meaningful and personal
  • Make it Enjoyable!

People are sharing in conversations and on social media at all stages of travel planning and travelling:





    Get others to tell your story

    • What do your guests love about your place?
    • What happened to them there?
    • “I’m a different person out here, under a blanket of stars”
    • Video testimonials get lots of views!





    See the presentation slides: Extraordinary experiences through storytelling

    The world travels for transformative experiences

    How guests can tell your story

    Tips to get more shares on Instagram:

    • Photos of sunrise, sunset, sunflowers, animals, wildlife, events
    • Look at #sqcountry for themes
    • Share real time positive stories!


    Put your guests into position where they’ll take photos they’ll share:

    • Gather up their cameras, and take photos for your guests – in your best location. Tell them you want to see the pic if they post it – share your hashtag
    • Train your staff to be content creators – give them a GoPro to take out on their tours to record guests. Snip a short video and email it to guests with a personal note. Make it part of their daily jobs.
    • Make your visitor the hero storyteller


    Ask people to review you. Give a card that says. “Please review us on Yelp” (or TripAdvisor, or Google, or…)


    Creating Your Story and Identifying Characters

    Lisa Jane Stockwell of Trinity Lane Communications taught conference attendees How to create videos on a phone: how to film and edit videos to share.

    • Breathe to have nerves under control. Big, deep breaths with arms raised. Twist your spine. Do it, don’t just read over it. Right, now you are ready to film yourself.
    • Use a deep voice. Fill your lungs down. Extend your spine. Take a long breath as fuel to get you through your sentence. Move through pitch as you speak (don’t use a monotone) – pitch creates movement.
    • Vary your pace. Take your time and don’t rush. Pause. Take a breath. Say the next thing. Give your audience time to absorb what you’re saying. Use a deeper pitch and slower pace for a sunset, but a exciting fast pace and higher pitch for a rodeo or cattle muster.
    • Speak from the heart about what you are really interested in.
    • Add movement to your clip by moving from Point A to Point B while telling one fact. This makes your shot dynamic and more engaging.
    • Use horizontal landscape format for video.
    • Break past the 15 seconds of when viewers get bored by using music.
    • Think about your costume and how it sets the scene: unpretentious, earthy, authentic, approachable, Akubra hat, business uniform – create your character! You’re the face of your business. Be relatable.
    • You’ll get better with practice! Think of your phone as your friend, someone you’re easy with, someone you can have a laugh with easily. Talk to one person. Don’t sound scripted. Look at the lens.
    • For editing videos on your iPhone use iMovie. For Android do a search on Google Playstore to see what suits you.

    Having a story idea:

    • Use you: your perspective. Let others access your world: going down your country driveway to the mailbox in your ute in the Australian landscape. It is so different for city folk or someone from Germany or Japan.
    • Set up the story (location, who’s there, what’s happening)
    • Something happens
    • Resolve it (what happens in response)


    Instagram stories:

    • Plan a story
    • Take a series of photos to show the story:
    • Who? People
    • What? Turtle watching
    • Where? On a boat
    • What happens? Turtle comes, facial reactions
    • Story resolves: Turtle swims away, the day ends with sunset and a beer



    Kushla GaleComment