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Storytelling is an art. I think someone who can code and tell good stories is unstoppable. It’s one thing to build a cool product. It’s another to tell the story that convinces people to listen and try it.

I started paying attention to this skill in 2022 and working with a coach to get better.

Here is what I’ve learned so far:

Framework for Critical Arcs

My coach and friend Roger helped me breakdown the framework:

1. Setup

  • Add some foreshadowing.

2. Make interactions with the person interesting

  • Need something to be interesting before we find out he is a millionaire.
  • Connect with the person first.

3. Reveal

  • Success.
  • “Now what can I learn from this?”

4. Transition from obvious → less obvious epiphany

  • What I learned about [insert topic].
  • The real lesson about life.

5. Transition from what I learned → what the audience can learn

  • “Let them share your epiphany.”
  • How can they apply it themselves?
  • Connect to them.
  • This is the meta (break the fourth wall).

Summary from Julian’s Tweet Thread

Julian wrote a wonderful thread on storytelling here. This is my summary:

The Art of Storytelling is to:

  • Strategically withhold information.
  • Drag out the nail-biting details.
  • Use vocal rhythm or blow your own mind.

Breaking it into individual steps, you need to be able to:

1. Identify stories worth telling:

  • Moments that are either formative or painful.
  • Moments of triumph or cringe.

2. Be charismatic:

  • Charisma = confidence + joy + love.

3. Practice public solitude:

  • Speak as if you’re alone in the room.
  • Research Konstantin Stanislavski.

4. Blow your own mind:

  • Relive feelings before speaking.
  • See Jason Silva as an example.

Summary from Sam Parr’s Talk

Sam gave a great 20-min talk at some conference. Here are my notes:

  • Start with Distribution:
    • Who do I want to reach and where are they?
    • What medium are they going to be coming from?
      • Search, Facebook, Twitter, etc.
  • Figure out The Headline.
  • Finally, What’s the Story?:
    • What’s the emotion I want them to feel?

Example: A guy from Missouri doing millions with a newsletter.

  • Blew his mind → Emotion = shock.
  • Story = this guy and his son doing millions with a newsletter.
  • Figure out the headline.
  • Figure out where this will be popular.

I hope to update this as I learn more!