Tell a Story

January 26, 2016    Blogging Writing Learning Community Programming

Girl Whispering to Other Girl

I sat down the other morning to re-watch something I have seen before, in fact most of us have seen it at one time or another. Each time, it fascinates me. I watch a man, presenting on a new piece of technology. A piece of technology which will “change the world”. They all say that, don’t they? I mean it makes sense. You kinda have to if you are going to try to create something great, something which everyone will want to use. But, it usually causes me to do a slight eye roll.

Looking at this presentation though, with almost 10 years of hindsight, we see it not only changed the world, it revolutionized it. At this point, you probably have a hunch to what I was watching. It was of course Steve Jobs’ keynote on the iPhone. One of the most engaging presentations I think I have ever seen. I was watching it again to see some of the ways Jobs drew people in at a presentation of new technology, all by simply telling a story. It is a story which still moves me somewhat today.

I try to bring this stye to my writing and speaking.

Writing is not always the easiest thing to do. It takes time and focus. Putting thoughts down in a concise and fluid manner takes a lot of work and a fair amount of editing. Just like in a presentation, I am are looking to create an organized way for others to grasp what is being talked about. It takes time to learn to do this well and it also takes effort to go back through what was written and critique yourself for clarity and fluidity. I feel sometimes I do this well and other times, not as much. It is a constant area to grow in.

Writing well is even more difficult. Maybe I can clarify this, writing engagingly is difficult. We as people tend to engage for 2 reasons; something is beneficial and/or something is interesting.

I have found for myself, even something which is beneficial I may have a hard time wanting to do. We all have things we know we should do, but put it off till it fades away or must be done immediately.

This brings us to something interesting. What is it that draws me in to a post or video someone else has written most often? For me, this often is when there is a story. People gravitate toward a story. Something personal you have experienced, something you have heard, or something you have explored. There are a lot of ways to be personal in a post, yet it is difficult. It can be hard to sit down and think about something beyond the “technical” thing you are talking about. But if you want to connect, tell a story.

I am trying to bring this style into the way I speak more often. For me, It means being deliberate about thinking how I might add this story element to my writing. Inevitably, people connect with stories and through them will be able to relate better. A story will often make them more receptive to what you are trying to teach or encourage someone in.

Learn to be a story-teller. You will find people will be drawn to what you have to say in an even greater way.