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This is Episode #149 of this SPECIAL SERIES of Connect the Dots.

I collaborate with Theresa Francomacaro Business Storyteller and Executive Coach to discuss how storytelling plays a part in video and marketing. In part 4 of 5 Theresa reviews the 6 story arcs you can use to tell any story.

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Connect the Dots Podcast hosted by Vicki O'Neill

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Episode #149 - Part 4 in a 5-Part Series with Theresa Francomacaro

Vicki O'Neill collaborates with Theresa Francomacaro in this special 5-part series of Connect the Dots. Theresa is a Seattle, Washington-based Business Storyteller and Executive Coach. In Part 4, Theresa reviews the 6 story arcs and how each one can be told to end a story as a success or a failure. The most common story arc we are all familiar with is the Cinderella story - or the winner, winner, chicken dinner (W) approach. Listen to hear more about this.  

Audio Link

If you prefer watching the interview, you can view the video here:

Show Notes

In Part 4 of this 5-part series, Theresa reviews the 6 story arcs we can use to tell any story.

We’re telling stories all the time – we just aren’t labeling each component of it.

What’s important is to identify the goal or purpose of that story so you make it relevant to the audience you’re engaging with on whichever platform (or in person).

Storytelling has been everywhere forever. Plato was talking about storytelling centuries ago.


Every story has what Theresa calls ICCCE:  an inciting incident, conflict, conflict, climax that leads to an ending (number of conflicts shouldn’t exceed 3 in any story).

Any story should be 2-3 minutes. Theresa coaches on telling a story in under 2 minutes.

Move with 3 of the ICCCE components for a max of 9-10 minutes then move on to another subject.

Brain Rules by John Medina 

Any of the 6 main story arcs can be used to tell your origin story


1. Person in the hole – walking along, then gets knocked off kilter then back up again (Covid is an example of this)

  • Vicki gives an example of telling a story in her life from 2022.

  • Theresa coaches in the moment on how to tell that story effectively with an ending for how to help or action.

2. Rags to Riches – down in the mud to top of the world.

  • Great success stories

3. Riches to Rags – top of the world then down in the mud.

  • The trust factor is huge – stories are relationship building machines, they make us human and help us relate

4. Riches to Rags to Riches – top of the world, then down in the mud then you make it again

Origin story – 6 story arcs are all part of your origin story – which is your WHY and your reason for being

5. Riches to Rags to Riches to Rags – like the icarus story (Greek God who challenges his dad and throws him out of the kingdom where he falls then rises again but too close to the sun where he melts and falls to the ground) – you don’t want that as your ending

6. Riches to Rags to Riches to Rags to Riches - "Winner, winner, chicken dinner"

  • Most popular story type

  • Cinderella story

  • The comeback story


Theresa deploys the structure to help people tell their stories so they can Be Real, Be Relevant and Be Brief.

Working with executives on storytelling – what is the biggest struggle they have with trying to uncover their origin or how to incorporate storytelling into their business to help them go to the next level?

  1. Why would they come to you?

  2. Biggest obstacles in those obstacles and how do you overcome it?


As a leader if you can get your people to be intrinsically motivated, you’ve got it made.


Most executives are afraid to be vulnerable and to show their weakness. Stories can’t be about how great you are they need to hear how it can help them.

Theresa coaches them on leveraging the emotions they need to trigger to tell their various stories.

Emotional responses are what lead people down the buyer’s journey – and what leads people to recommend you and come back to you and they feel like you care.

Leaders a lot of times want to memorize their stories and have them buttoned up. You have to practice it and in low stakes environment.

Theresa goes through how to do this in 2 minutes or less using the chunk outline as a structure.

The Chunk Outline Structure:

  • Grabber – 10-20 seconds


Overview of the meat of the story:

  • How -  20 seconds

  • What – 60 seconds

  • Why does it matter – 20 seconds

  • Your story is your differentiator – let’s you be heard and creates stickiness in the sea of sameness.


It’s not always just what you say but how you say it.                   


Theresa reviews how you can use these techniques if you’re a blogger or writer. These story arcs and chunk outline work for all situations.

How to Contact and Work With Theresa:


LinkedIn Profile

LinkedIn Business Page 

First Podcast Appearance Ep #91

Part 1 in this series "Rapport Opens the Door"

Part 2 in this series "The Wide Mouth Frog"

Part 3 in this series "The Canary in the Coalmine"

2-Minute Stories and the Chunk Outline

Story Starts and Business B.S. 

Download to access 50 key questions to help clarify and craft your story plus 50 catchy and memorable Business 'Bumper Stickers'

Complimentary 20-minute coaching session 

Schedule your 1:1 and be sure to mention you saw this opportunity on Connect the Dots!


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All Episodes

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All episodes including the HIGHLIGHT episodes can be accessed by clicking the image to the left or below which was used for episodes 1-100. 

After episode 100 I needed to take time away from creating content for the podcast. When I resumed, I played 'catch up' in Q4 2021 by repurposing popular YouTube videos as podcast episodes. 

In January 2022, I simplified and structured my content creation so that my weekly video was my starting point for video, podcast and blog. It's SO much easier now with this process in place. This is part of what I coach established, savvy entrepreneurs and business owners on which saves them time, eases anxiety associated with 'what should I post today?' and actually creates MORE time in their schedules to focus on the things they love. You want to do the same in your business? 

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