I didn’t have a television my first year at college. What I did have was Stephanie.
When we were really bored and didn’t have any money to go to The Pub, we’d sit around and listen to Stephanie talk. It wasn’t that she was a genius or she had a funny accent. She just had a way of making things flow together that kept us enthralled for hours.
I guess you could call her a storyteller except there was never a set beginning, middle, or end. (In fact, if we let her, I’m sure she’d still be in that dorm room talking away.) She would just start speaking and stringing things together, weaving a spell of words.
She would use humor. She would use description. She would use transitions. She would make connections with the listeners. She would show relevance. She would throw twists into the storyline – lots of twists.
She could make the most ordinary thing interesting.
Those are the techniques writers need to use no matter what we write. It’s a real skill to make the ordinary fascinating. I strive to use Stephanie’s approach to make my own ideas appealing. I’m not always successful, but that goal is always in front of me.
Many folks may think that storytelling has no place in the business world. That’s not true.
When we tell the story of our business, we connect with clients and customers on a very basic, very human level. When we use the stories of others, we can transform an obscure concept into something understandable and relatable.
I have this vision of Stephanie living in the Dark Ages. She’d have a group of villagers rapt as they sat around a fire listening to her. She may have been considered a wise woman. Either that, or she would have been burned at the stake as a witch.
Maybe I’ll call her and see what she thinks. I’ll just need several hours of spare time and an extra, charged phone.