The Hero's journey

The Hero's journey

What is it?

The Hero's Journey is a narrative structure that heroes typically follow in their adventures. While commonly associated with literature and filmmaking, it can also be applied to presentation development to create compelling and engaging narratives.

Origin: Joseph Campbell, a renowned mythologist and author, popularized this framework in his book "The Hero with a Thousand Faces." Drawing upon comparative mythology and literature, Campbell identified a universal template found in myths, legends, and stories from different cultures throughout history.

Key Components: This archetypal structure encompasses mutiple stages including the Call to Adventure, Crossing the Threshold, Tests and Trials, and the Return with the Elixir. It focuses on the hero's personal growth and transformation throughout their journey, providing a template for hero-centric narratives.

Application: The Hero's Journey can be applied when you want to inspire and engage an audience on an emotional and transformational level. It's a powerful structure for motivational, self-help, and inspirational talks. It can also be adapted for business presentations by framing the audience as the hero, with the product or solution as the guide to their transformation.

By structuring a presentation around the Hero's Journey, you can create a compelling and relatable narrative that engages the audience and makes your content more memorable and impactful. It helps draw your audience into the story and keeps them engaged from start to finish.

      When to use it

      1. To create an emotional connection with your audience.
      2. When inspiring change, personal growth, or a call to action in your presentation.


      Remember to

      1. Select and adapt the stages that align best with content and time constraints.
      2. Consider the duration of the presentation.The Hero's Journey requires more time for storytelling and development. For shorter presentations, you might opt for a more concise framework.



      Define the Hero

      The first step is to identify and develop the Hero. The Hero is the central character of your narrative, and in the context of various scenarios, it could be different entities. For example, in a startup pitch, the Hero is often the product or service. Versus if you're creating a presentation for a sales-oriented scenario, the Hero might be the customer. Next, determine the "Call to Adventure" or the reason for the presentation. What problem  is being addressed, or what opportunity is being presented?


      Determine the "call to adventure"

      Next, determine the "Call to Adventure" or the reason for the presentation. What problem is being addressed, or what opportunity is being presented?


      Establish the ordinary world

      Set the stage by describing the world as it exists before the hero's journey. Paint a clear picture of the problems or challenges in this ordinary world, using real-life examples or anecdotes to engage the audience.


      Introduce conflict and the call to action

      Highlight the challenges, issues, or opportunities that your audience needs to address. This serves as the "Call to Adventure" in the presentation.


      Show initial resistance (refusal of the call)

      Acknowledge the doubts, concerns, or hesitations that the audience might have. Address these concerns and explain why they should continue listening.


      Present a mentor or guide

      Introduce the mentor or guide in the presentation. This could be a real person, an expert, data, or a set of principles that will help your audience navigate the challenges.


      Cross the threshold

      Explain how the audience can take the first steps toward addressing the challenges or seizing the opportunities. This is the point where they commit to the suggested action


      Describe the journey/obstacles and share success stories (tests, allies, and enemies)

      Provide examples, case studies, or anecdotes that demonstrate how others have successfully embarked on a similar journey. Mention allies who have supported them and obstacles they've faced.


      Approach the central challenge

      Lead your audience toward the central and most critical part of the presentation. This could be a solution, a new perspective, or a game-changing idea.


      Present the climax (the ordeal):

      This is the turning point where your audience fully grasps the potential of the message. It's where you unveil the core solution, concept, or information.


      Outline the next steps (plan the road back)

      Explain the practical steps your audience should take to apply what they've learned. How can they transition from the presentation to taking action?


      Address final concerns and resistance (resurrection)

      Acknowledge and address any remaining doubts, concerns, or objections that the audience might have.


      Return with the elixir and weave in the call to action

      The "elixir" here represents the central theme, idea, or solution that the audience can apply in their own lives or work. It's the practical, actionable insight they've gained from the presentation. Summarize the key takeaways and emphasize the importance of these insights, connecting them to the audience's needs and desires. Weave in the call to action. Clearly articulate what you want your audience to do next. Whether it's making a decision, adopting a new approach, or embracing a particular idea, make it a concrete, actionable step.

      Guide coming soon