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Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Want Your Message To Stick? Tell A Story | Sean Blanda, Tips :: 99U

First providing some research examples in this article, Blanda writes:
[W]e live vicariously through the actions and stories of others. It's the reason we wince when we hear a disgusting story or feel our heart race while watching an action movie. It's also the reason that ideas that evoke a specific narrative are more memorable -- they invite empathy, which increases the likelihood that they will be accepted and adopted.
I agree! I value writing, even briefly, about the real-life stories people experience in their work, the hobbies, their families and so on. Telling those stories helps readers relate to the point of an article and get its key message(s).

To aid his readers, Blanda asked some experts for advice on "how to be better storytellers in our work lives." Here's a summary of the useful advice he received:
  • Figure out your controlling idea.
  • Set the mood. ...
The mood is a through line that has gone on a journey towards the end and shifted. That's the skeleton, the main thing running through a story that makes it more than random information.
  • Choose the right structure, and stick with it. 
  • Keep it short. ...
People appreciate an economic approach to words. Use only the words you need to use and not the words that will impress other people. Make it count.
  • Use details and images to build empathy.
  • Show vulnerability. ...
A lot of people make the mistake of thinking they have to put their best foot forward all the time, like they are their resume. One of the most valuable stories to listeners is when a confident person gets up and talks about a time they struggled and failed.
  • Practice, practice, practice. 
This article is featured today (Oct. 2) in Garbl's Creativity Connections--available at the Creativity tab above and by free email subscription.

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