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Archive for August 2013

Storytelling Tip: Leave them wanting more

 

Storytelling Tip: Leave them wanting more
Today’s tip from JerryBrownPR’s storytelling tips on the Experience Pros Radio Show

By Jerry Brown, APR
Public Relations Consultant
www.JerryBrownPR.com

Storytelling Tip: Leave them wanting moreThere’s an old show business adage that says you should leave them wanting more.

That’s good advice for telling your story, too.

Tell us what we need to know to understand what you’re talking about and grab our interest. But don’t try to answer every single question we may have.

If you try to answer every question every person will have, you’ll end up telling many of us more than we want to know, which means we’ll quit listening to your story before you’re done telling it. That’s usually means we’ve lost interest in what you have to say.

In show business, leaving your audience wanting more means they’ve had a good time. They’re more likely to come back. Or recommend your show to their friends.

It’s the same way when telling your story. If I’m interested enough to want to know more, I’m more likely to start a conversation with you. And then you can answer my questions without boring the people who don’t care about I want to know.

Telling your story shouldn’t be the end of our conversation. It should the catalyst that begins our conversation.

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

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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 | jerry@JerryBrownPR.com.

Listen to Jerry’s Tips for Telling Your Story every Tuesday at 10:05 a.m., Mountain Time, on the Experience Pros Radio Show on KLZ 560AM in Denver or at www.560thesource.com on the Internet. Missed it on the air? Listen to the archived tips.

Storytelling Tip: Don’t assume your audience knows what you’re talking about

 

Storytelling Tip: Don’t assume your audience knows what you’re talking about
Today’s tip from JerryBrownPR’s storytelling tips on the Experience Pros Radio Show

By Jerry Brown, APR
Public Relations Consultant
www.JerryBrownPR.com

Storytelling Tip: Don't assume your audience knows what you're talking aboutHave you ever had this experience: You’re on Facebook and one of your friends has posted something like “That was a great experience,” a half dozen people have liked the post and a couple people have added congratulatory comments?

Did you feel like you came in at the middle of the story because you have no idea what your friend’s talking about — or whether all those likes and comments are just polite support or mean everyone but you knows what’s happening?

Or have you experienced this? You go to the local newspaper’s website to find out the score of yesterday’s game only to find a series of stories about the big plays or a controversial call but no score in sight. They assume you already know that.

People often assume everyone else knows something just because they know it.

Don’t leave your audience guessing when telling your story. Don’t assume they know something just because you do.

Jargon’s a common example. Terms widely used and understood within your company or industry may not mean anything to the rest of us. So, explain what you’re saying in terms the rest of us will understand.

Back in my days as a reporter, we always had to include at least a sentence or two designed to bring readers who missed yesterday’s paper up to speed when writing a second-day story. No matter how prominent the story, we were told to assume some readers wouldn’t know what had happened. So, each day’s update of a multi-day story had to be self-contained and explain anything a first-time reader would need to know to understand the story.

You don’t have to drown your audience in endless detail. But tell them what they need to know to understand what you’re saying — and why you’re saying it.

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 | jerry@JerryBrownPR.com.

Listen to Jerry’s Tips for Telling Your Story every Tuesday at 10:05 a.m., Mountain Time, on the Experience Pros Radio Show on KLZ 560AM in Denver or at www.560thesource.com on the Internet. Missed it on the air? Listen to the archived tips.

Storytelling Tip: Skip the grocery list

 

Storytelling Tip: Skip the grocery list
Today’s tip from JerryBrownPR’s storytelling tips on the Experience Pros Radio Show

By Jerry Brown, APR
Public Relations Consultant
www.JerryBrownPR.com

Storytelling Tip: Skip the grocery listWe’ve all experienced a version of this scenario: Your spouse or roommate asks you to pick up a couple things at the grocery store.

Then a couple more things get added. And another. And pretty soon you need to write them down to remember what you’re supposed to buy.

There’s a temptation to do the same thing when telling your story: One point becomes two or three. And then a few more get added on. Pretty soon, you’ve pushed so much information at your audience that there’s no way they can remember it all.

You’ve given your audience a grocery list. And they won’t remember it.

In his book Selling the Invisible, marketing expert Harry Beckwith offers this advice:

  • “Saying many things usually communicates nothing.”
  • “If you deliver two messages, most people will process just one of them — if that. Say one thing.”
  • “After you say one thing, repeat it again and again.”

That’s good advice. All I would add is this: Be able to say that one thing in 10 to 15 seconds. If it takes you longer than that, we won’t remember it.

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 | jerry@JerryBrownPR.com.

Listen to Jerry’s Tips for Telling Your Story every Tuesday at 10:05 a.m., Mountain Time, on the Experience Pros Radio Show on KLZ 560AM in Denver or at www.560thesource.com on the Internet. Missed it on the air? Listen to the archived tips.

Storytelling Tip: Start with your most important info

 

Storytelling Tip: Start with your most important info
Today’s tip from JerryBrownPR’s storytelling tips on the Experience Pros Radio Show

By Jerry Brown, APR
Public Relations Consultant
www.JerryBrownPR.com

Storytelling Tip: Start with your most important infoGrab our attention. Tell us your story. Wrap it up.

Welcome to the inverted pyramid that journalists learn about from the people who teach them how to write. Start with your most important information. Put the least important information at the bottom.

I’ve never understood why the pyramid’s inverted since that point at top always seems to be the pinnacle to me. But who am I to argue with all those journalists and the people who taught them to write?

Whichever way you turn your pyramid, here’s how it breaks down:

  • The Lead: Grab our attention with a lead that entices us to keep reading or listening. Make it brief. Include the who, what, where, when and why of your story. Include a hook to attract our attention.
  • The Body: Explain the details of your story. The body of your story fills in the details you promised to tell us about in your lead.
  • The Tail: Wrap it up with anything else you want us to know and/or a summary of the body of your story. Don’t wait until the end to make your main point or most of your audience won’t see it.

Starting with your most important information serves two purposes. A good lead grabs the attention of your audience. And by making your most important point first you’ve delivered your most important message to people who don’t read the rest of what you say.

In the old days of lead type, newspaper reporters were told to put their least important information at the bottom of their stories because when a story had to be shortened the folks laying out the pages in the composing room started yanking lines of type from the bottom and worked their way up until the story fit the space available for it.

But there’s another reason for starting with your most important information. Surveys consistently show 85 percent or more of newspapers readers (if there are any left) skim headlines and read a sentence or two of the stories that interest them.

That’s how people read other information, too, particularly online. If you don’t make your main point right away, most of us will miss it.

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 | jerry@JerryBrownPR.com.

Listen to Jerry’s Tips for Telling Your Story every Tuesday at 10:05 a.m., Mountain Time, on the Experience Pros Radio Show on KLZ 560AM in Denver or at www.560thesource.com on the Internet. Missed it on the air? Listen to the archived tips.

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Jerry@JerryBrownPR.com | 303.594.8016