Storytelling Tips: If it sounds like writing, rewrite it


Storytelling Tips: If it sounds like writing, rewrite it
Today’s tip from JerryBrownPR’s Storytelling Tips on the Experience Pros Radio Show
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By Jerry Brown, APR
Public Relations Consultant

Storytelling Tips: If it sounds like writing, rewrite itWant to improve your writing? Then listen to what you wrote. If it sounds like writing, rewrite it.

I can’t claim credit for that little pearl of wisdom. It comes from Elmore Leonard, a novelist and screenwriter who happens to be one heck of a good writer.

There’s a pretty good chance you have at least one conversation with someone every day. And most of them go just fine. You say what you want to say and, with luck, the other person is actually listening. The more interesting what you have to say is, the more likely they are to listen.

Conversation is our basic mode of communication. Interesting conversations revolve around stories. So use your writing to tell a story. And write like you talk. Make your writing conversational, particularly if you want to persuade us to buy something or believe something.

By the way, Leonard’s advice applies to speeches and presentations, too. Does your speech sound like a speech? Then you need to work on it some more. Talk to us, don’t deliver a speech.

One more piece of advice from Mr. Leonard: “I try to leave out the parts that people skip.” What do people skip? Things that are too long, too predictable, too boring — or all three.

That’s my two cents’ worth. What’s yours?


Jerry Brown, APR, is a public relations professional and former journalist. He specializes in helping clients develop the content they need to tell their stories. He also helps them develop strategies for getting their stories heard, understood and remembered. And he provides media training and presentation coaching for clients who need to tell their stories to reporters or in front of an audience. 303-594-8016 |

Listen to Jerry’s Tips for Telling Your Story every Tuesday at 11:05 a.m., Mountain Time, on the Experience Pros Radio Show on KLZ 560AM in Denver or at on the Internet. Missed it on the air? Listen to the archived tips.

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