Three Act Story Structure Refresher

When we teach Storytelling at The Goodman Center, we use the Three Act Story Structure. While there are many story structures throughout the world, we have found this structure to be simple, flexible, and effective in creating positive change in the public sector. The Three Act Structure is especially useful when you need to succinctly engage a distracted audience and move them to action. 

For those of you who have taken one of our workshops, we though we’d offer this very quick quick of the Three Act Structure: 


We meet our protagonist, experience a moment that alters their journey (the inciting incident) and find out what their goal is. 


On the way to the goal, the protagonist runs into barriers or obstacles. Something gets in their way, and they must strategies to overcome those barriers. (Hint: often this happens with partnership with our organization!)


The end of the story, which answers the questions: did the protagonist achieve the goal and what does it all mean? 

If you’re an alum of our Storytelling class, the image and the breakdown above is very familiar. If it’s new to you, consider learning more by jumping into our storytelling workshop at The Goodman Center! The next class begins on February 6th, 2024.