After a multi-year hiatus, I recently joined a writers’ group to work on my personal projects. The most frequently asked question in our meetings is “what does your main character want?”

The question stems from the writers’ understanding that great stories start with a main character (a.k.a. the protagonist) who has a pressing need and the motivation to pursue it. If a story (or scene or monologue) is missing this ingredient, it’s unlikely to hold our interest.

The same is true of effective business communications. We’re drawn to narratives about people who are passionate about their goals and are willing to pursue those goals relentlessly.

So whether the main character of your story is you, your company, or your customer, make sure you’re clear about what the protagonist wants and why it’s so important for them to get it. It’s the best way to grab your audience and keep them engaged.