This is a link to a short video about the design of a table the top of which looks like its full of water with a couple of goldfish floating in it. As you'll see, no goldfish were harmed in the making of the video or the tables.
Why am I suggesting you watch it? Because it's a great example of how you can make a story about just about anything interesting. Yes, the more cycnical among us may feel it's a bit over-the-top (after all, it's a table, not a cure for cancer). But there are some useful lessons we can draw from it.
One is the power of passion. The man who narrates this video is passionate about his table and it's catching. If you tell your story with this level of conviction it will capture the imagination of a lot of listeners. Very useful if you're pitching a story to a producer or editor.
It's about people as much as about a product. Specific people. The fisherman turned fish sculptor, especially. We learn only a couple of things about him but it's enough to make him come alive, you know there's more to the story than the bit we glimpse. His story is couched in an old-school way, there's a little echo of Hemingway in there somewhere (maybe because I read The Old Man and the Sea at school).
It's about a problem and how somebody solved it. That's what most stories are about (although of course there's not always a happy ending...I guess in a more tragic version of the story they'd be using real goldfish).
There's a secret. In this case, how they get that effect. Notice how they call your attention to the fact that it's a secret. Ultimately I'm not going to lose any sleep over how they did it, but within the story it raises a little point of interest.
It leaves you with something to think about. In this case, I thought, wait a minute, I just got hooked (pun intended) by a story about a table. A nice table, but still a table. And that led me to consider how they did that, and that led to this post.