“Don’t be nervous. Be at their service.”

Snoop Dogg

Ganz: Fork in the road: “A good story public story is drawn from the series of choice points that have structured the “plot” of your life – the challenges you faced, choices you made, and outcomes you experienced.”

Buchanan: In media res: “When we launch in medias res, the conflict can already be at a high pitch, so our reader has something to worry about right away.”

Farr: Immersivity of the present: Present tense storytelling: “So here I am, …. continues” / John Bates

Bates: “Never tell a story without a point and never make a point without a story.” —Les Brown / Bates‘ key points are:

  • “Don’t tell the whole story:” Edit it down
  • “Remember the value of surprise:” Create an unexpected reward
  • “Begin your story in the middle:” Chronographic order is boring
  • “Remember to build some suspense:” Force the listener to wait to find out
  • “Show me, don’t tell me.” Use short descriptive words and short dialogue to evoke space
  • “Start with a big question” — or a story. But be sure that the ending is something everyone will walk away and talk about.
  • “Show your emotions:” Activate mirror neurons to enable the audience to come along with you.
  • “Your gaze matters:” The whites of your eyes signal where and what you are paying attention to.
  • “Speak to your audience one person at a time:” Shift gave with each new piece of the story. If there’s one person sending you good signals, spend more time on them, and then spread the energy to the other parts of audience with less energy with the energy in you — transferred through your affect and gaze.
  • “Present slowly — speed maters:” When you speak quickly, you’re judged as untrustworthy and instead you come across as an expert.
  • “Connect your movement to points being made:” Frenetic non purposeful movement will push the audience away. Example of good use of movement is moving location to location related to a travel story or related to past versus future.
  • “Bullets are for enemies:” Can’t listen to someone while they’re reading text on a screen. The voiceover becomes a distraction and while reading you want the speaker to sh*t up. For that reason, photos (transfer emotions) are easier to talk over. This explains (to me) why Hiroshi Ishii’s talks work well as giant Kanji. “Can’t drink and breathe at the same time. Reading is breathing. Listening is drinking.”
  • “People are like moths to flames:” People ask questions about whatever you show them — so make your points much more noticeable and prominent. This enables biasing the outcome to people asking the “right” questions that you want to engage the most.
  • “Be at their service:” It’s dangerous to get noticed by a group because “people can get nasty.” Snoop Dogg: “Don’t be nervous. Be at their service.” / Trainer: “If you get up stage and you’ve got your attention on yourself, then you’ve got attention on a petty ball of concerns that nobody else is interested in.” Conversely, “If you’ve got attention on your audience and what you’re going to make happen for them, now you’ve got everyone’s attention on what matters.” This is what turns nervousness into excitement — excitement for how you can serve others. Richard Saul Wurman used to always force the house lights to be on so he could see the audience — this was a relevant reason for him to do it.
  • “Stand for two beats longer than you’re comfortable at the end.” Acknowledge the audience, smile, and accept their applause (when it happens).

“Communication is the transfer of emotion.”

Seth Godin

Maeda: Storylistening