The 3 Cs Rule – Successful Interactions

As announced last week, this weekend I took part in Ab Urbe Condita, a storytelling performance in Parco dell’Appia Antica, Rome.

As my colleagues and I were asked many questions both from the audience and the local news, I got the chance to think about something I recently learned about communication: The 3 Cs Rule. 

Sometimes you find yourself in the condition to speak or write about your project, your story or just you as a professional in order to convince somebody about the value of what your are talking about. You may write a cover letter for an application, pitch a project or meet someone who might be an investor in your carrier. How to communicate at your best? How to “sell” what you want?

Here is where The 3 Cs Rule steps in. The three Cs represents three key aspects that are to keep in mind in these situations.

  1. CounterpartAlways remember that what you are referring to is a specific reality. Don’t write identical cover letters, don’t go to interviews without doing some research on who your counterpart is, what they have done and what they want to do. Listen to them, adapt to them as they were your audience. You will be appreciated for that.
  2. ContextInvestigating your counterpart is important, so it is doing research on the context where your interaction will take place. Culturally, socially, economically. If you speak to them referring to specific elements to which they could relate, you’ll create a connection, a hook.  Hanging on the hook you’ll provide them will help them in understanding what you are saying and to get interested.
  3. ContentOf course, you can’t go there and just talk about nothing. You are there to show how cool you and your project are? Show them some stuff! Bring the things you have done in the past, bring data! Show arguments and charts, give them anything they can relate to, that can prove that what you are telling them is not only the truth, but the only option they can consider!

Never go unprepared!

But, most of all, go there full of enthusiasm for whatever project, job or story you are going to talk about! Don’t forget to pass on them the same sparkle you felt when you first got excited about the project!

They’d surely fall for you!

 

 

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Performing Storytelling

In media and business “storytelling” is a more and more known word used to promote a form of communication suitable to the dream-oriented society we live in. It refers to a communication strategy whose strengths lie on our perpetual need for stories.

“Storytelling”, though, is originally a word to identify a performing art. More precisely, the Storytelling Revival is a cultural movement started in the U.S in the late ’60 – with the aime of  studying, exploring and proposing the art of telling stories for a contemorary audience,   as an innovative yet archetypical way of entertainment. The pioneers of the storytelling movement felt that a strong action was needed to save the oral tradition from extinction under the threat of the “television monster”. In the following decades the Storytelling art  has been codified and practiced in many different variations throughout the world and now counts countless Festivals, clubs theatres and lovers all over the globe.

Storytelling is the art of comunicating through words, gestures, the modulation of voice and body language the images of a story to a specific audience. Storytelling is the interactive art of using words and actions to reveal the elements and images of a story while encouraging the listener’s imagination.” (National Storytelling Network USA Federation for European Storytelling)

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In Italy storytelling is performed and studied by a small amount of performers, most of whom are related to Raccontamiunastoria, the first storytelling company in the country, created by storyteller Paola Balbi – who came across the Storytelling Movement and trained in England – and co-directed by Davide Bardi.

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For a decade Raccontamiunastoria perpetrated the art of oral narration all around the globe telling oral stories mainly linked with the Italian tradition, from the Bible to Decameron, from legends to family anecdotes.

I have the privilege of being part of this wonderful, challenging and mind blowing reality. Thanks to Raccontamiunastoria I got the chance to approach narration from a different point of view, yet still working with creating images and giving them to an audience. I face insecurities related to putting myself in the hand of my listeners and viewers and I discovered more about myself in these last months than I have done in all my life. I can’t really thank Paola, Davide and Raccontamiunastoria enough for that.

Since on Saturday the 23rd and Sunday the 24th I will take part for the first time into an official Raccontamiunastoria performance, I wanted to share my happiness with you and invite all of those who may find themselves in Rome to attend. In the beautiful setting of Ancient Appia natural reserve, Ab Urbe Condita and the legends of the seven kings of Rome will be told during a suggestive stroll in the woods.

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There is not much more to say, since performative storytelling is an art that can be fully appreciated only when experienced live. It’s like a spell, it can be cast only on people who take part to it. So, I really hope to see you there.

A Tea with… Eric!

As mentioned last week, today’s journal will be an interview with Eric, a young artist whose performance could be seen some days ago on Italia’s Got Talent. We met this afternoon and, while sipping a nice cup of tea together, I asked him some questions about his choices in life and career. What I got was a story of a young man who built his own artistic brand based on this key elements: dreams, music and homemade.

Eric was born as Fabrizio Florio in Calabria, a southern region of Italy. As his father was a musician and his mother used to sing, Eric grew up loving music. And Disney films. Even if he is close to his first quarter of century, Eric is not ashamed of saying that Disney represents life itself for him, because of the many shades that the stories and messages from the popular brand are capable to picture.

Completed his studies in Media while traveling across the world, Fabrizio moved to Rome to study performing arts. The tragic loss of his mother gave him the needed epiphany on which he started to built his artistic career. “Back then I realized that from that moment on I was going to do only what I wanted. I am going to live a fulfilling life, for both me and my mum” he says.

So he found himself a nome d’art  that could embody his different backgrounds and called himself Eric: a Disney character in love with music and who travels the world by sea. With this name and his own version of Part of your world from The Little Mermaid, Eric collected four “yes” at his auditions for Italia’s Got Talent, and his popularity across the country seems destined only to increase.

During our tea-chat, Eric and I talked about his branding choice. His logline is “Dreams homemade” because he recognized the importance to bring contents even if lacking with technical capabilities. He is aiming to create a true connection with his audience and for this goal he put himself completely on board, and he did it firstly by sharing his story with them.

Eric is not nor Christina Aguilera (whose voice speaks for itself) nor Michael Bay, and he did a great job at understanding what were the main elements he could stress to get to people.

  • Content: He provided a good performance, without which he would have looked like a fraud, and his story alone would not have been enough.
  • Story: He showed his inner fears and told his personal story. This was appreciated by the audience, who liked that he took this risk. We are in the dream society, remember?
  • Connection: He was able to find a song and a character that reflected his story, like it did for many members of the audience. They felt a connection with him.

I firmly believe that nowadays successful brands need to rely on these elements.

Eric is still at the beginning of his journey since he doesn’t have a strategy or enough confidence in his performances, but I want to believe that we all can follow his path and start making our homemade dreams come true.

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What’s up, Doc? – First 2016 Journal

As three months passed since 2016 started, I think we may say without consequences that a trimester went by. So I thought about taking the chance to recap a bit about what happened and what is going to happen to me – and consequently to this site – in the close future.

I decided that, every week, my articles will come together with a video in Italian about the same subject, in order to keep my Youtube channel active and to help those Italian readers who might find difficulties in reading my written English. Here is the first example.

Since January I have been working with schools. I plan, organize and host film laboratories for students from four to fourteen years old. I am planning to do even more courses, because I found out that I really like teaching, especially young people, who are an  unlimited source of creative and human stimulation. Consequently, sometimes my articles will be centered around teaching creative subjects.

I am currently working on several personal projects that involve writing. I am working on web-series, sketches, a stage play and, ultimately, a feature film. Those projects will take long before being decent to show, but working on them will surely give me plenty of subjects to talk about.

Among these writing projects there are some collaborations. First to mention is my partnership with famous Italian youtuber La Vergine D’Orecchie, with whom I just started a series of satirical skit called Lobby Gay, to criticize some Italian political measures against civil rights. Here you may find the first episode.

I will also do some projects with singer/writer Fabrizio “Eric” Florio, who recently made his first appearance on Italian television singing his rendition of Part of your world from Disney’s The Little Mermaid on Italia’s Got Talent. Next week my article will be an interview with him about his self branding decisions and difficulties.

So, thank you for following, stay tuned and enjoy Spring!