best practices

The Refreshing Dr. Schramm

Just read a great post, A Refresher on Storytelling 101, by JD Schramm. Here are a few of my favorite parts

Parachute in, don’t preamble. The best storytellers draw us immediately into the action. They capture our attention and set the tone for a unique audience experience. Avoid opening with “I’d like to tell you a story about a time when I learned…” Instead, drop us into the action and draw the lesson out later.

This is a huge challenge for so many storytellers. They get so caught up on backstory and thinking that the listener can’t possibly understand anything until they have a briefing first. Nope. In stories, the audience will accept the new world you’re exposing them to and dive right in where you drop them.

Follow the “Goldilocks” theory of details. Give us “just the right amount.” If you give too many details, we get lost, or worse, bored. If you don’t give us enough detail, we may lack the context to grasp the story fully or to see ourselves inside your tale. If possible, test out your story with a few friends who have a similar background to your audience; let them help you discern the right level of detail.

Yes! Anyone who tells the same story at parties knows the version you tell a year later is tighter and smoother. The audience won’t drop anything you give it so don’t make it carry so much that it gets exhausted and collapses.
The full article has a lot more in there about orating your stories. Enjoy!

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