What All Storytellers Can Learn From George Lucas

Today I want to look at what speakers and storytellers  can learn from filmmaker George Lucas of Star Wars fame.

Now Lucas is a millionaire hundreds of times over and this is largely due to his success with the Star Wars Franchise.

Now the stories within the Star Wars franchise aren’t all that great. But today I want to talk about the one thing that made the franchise extremely successful and something we can learn when we tell our own stories.

So what made Star Wars a hit.  It started in the middle. 

Now before I go on, let’s look at a basic story arc. 

Jason Reid's Story Arc Structure

The challenge is, sometimes if you have a long or complicated story, the setup can be a little long and boring, so that’s why many storytellers will start in the middle where the action is, and eventually go back in time either all at once or little by little and clue you in as to what set up all this action.

So here’s what Lucas did, He started with Episode IV. Which seems crazy. Who wants to come into a movie not having seen the first third? Well it turns everyone did. As a result, we started with a space battle and not two hours of talk about trade embargos. pod races or microscopic parasites that control the universe. 

By starting in the middle where the real action was he grabbed people’s attention. And luckily he kept it for the second move that’s often regarded as the best one of the series. The Empire Strikes Back. This is the MIDDLE episode of the MIDDLE series. 

When it comes to longer stories middle’s are where the action is, middle’s grab people. If you’re telling a longer story don’t forget to savour that middle, and where you can START WITH IT. 

For more storytelling tips, go to my website and pick up my professional storytellers tool. Also subscribe to my channel. 

Storytelling and the Brain – Video

Stories can help you sell your idea more effectively because they engage your listener’s emotions and activate the sensory centers of the brain.

Why are stories a great way to sell products, services or even ideas?  Well partially it’s because of storytelling’s impact on the brain.

Storytelling is extremely old. In fact it even predates language itself. Yes, before we could even speak – we were telling stories.

We actually understand and remember stories much better than any other form of communication. That’s why we need to use stories if we want to influence others.

Stories are better than PowerPoint

Powerpoint won’t actually kill your audience, but relying on it too much can kill your chances.  To keep people’s attention you need to engage more parts of their brain.

Let’s imagine you’re doing a sales presentation and you’re using facts and graphs and charts. You’ve engaged the logic centers of their brain, and while it’s good you’re engaging something, it’s often not enough to get their attention.

How to gain real attention during your presentation

Now instead, let’s imagine you’re telling them a story.  A story about a real live human being with thoughts, and dreams, and emotions.  

Maybe during the course of the story you talk about how things looked, or sounded, or even smelled! Well now you’ve hit the jackpot. The entire brain is lit up. Why? Because when we hear a great story, our brains experience it as if it were real life. It’s really a virtual reality – meaning all those brain centers for sight, sound, touch and smell suddenly get activated.

The more parts of the brain you activate, the more people will pay attention – and the more chance YOU have to make your sale.

But there’s one more thing you need to know. Remember I talked about human beings and emotions being important to your story? They are. People relate to the struggles of others, and buying ANYTHING, even if it’s an idea, is very much an emotional decision.  That’s why stories should act as the emotional component of your sales presentation.

So to sum up, by using stories to activate people’s senses, you get their attention. Then, you stimulate their emotions, as well as their logical minds, so that they will take action.


There’s no better way to learn than stories. Why not book Jason to engage your audience with stories that are entertaining, powerful and insightful learning tools? Check out Jason’s programs to find out how your audience can become better at influence, sales, leadership or general communication.

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