As a professional communicator, it’s my job to tell stories. They aren’t always exciting stories, although sometimes they are, but I get paid to take something and make people care about it.
Andrew Stanton gets paid to tell stories as well, albeit on a bigger stage than I, and with considerably more skill. Last month at the TED Conference, he gave a TEDTalk on storytelling. I recommend you watch the whole thing, it’s 19 minutes and starts with an amazingly well told, and yes profane joke.
A few notes that I pulled out of it that stuck with me:
- storytelling is joke telling…it’s knowing your punch line, your ending, knowing everything from your first line to your last is working towards single goal;
- Storytelling commandment: Make me care;
- All good stories should give you a promise that they are leading you somewhere that is worth your time; and
- The unifying theory of 2+2: make the audience put things together.
I came across this on MentalFloss.com, which is an amazingly entertaining site about everything, which I highly recommend, but also recommend you go spend some time watching other TedTalks, you never what you’re going to learn.