Are you overloading your stories?

When crafting your stories, do you know the answer to these questions:

How much material should you include?
How much is too much?
 
Excess information is a common problem in business storytelling. That’How to Avoid Losing Audience Interest in Your Story s because audience attention spans are shorter than ever. Too much detail is like overloading a truck; it slows down your process, and puts you at risk of losing progress.
 
As a result, it’s imperative that you grab their attention as fast as possible.
 
Once you do that, you need to keep their interest until the end of your story. That is, if you want them to take action on your message.

The first step to opening your stories

Create an opening which establishes the scene, but doesn’t get bogged down in details. For example:
 
‘The night I met Patti, I was attending a Chamber holiday party. It was a festive atmosphere; people were talking excitedly, and you could feel the joy of old friends re-connecting. I was standing by the dessert table, taking in the sweet scents of cake, pastries and cookies. It was so strong I could almost taste them.
 
‘While I was enjoying the moment, I noticed a woman quickly walking toward me, almost running. She wore a beautiful tailored business suit, had nicely cut hair, and jewelry that sparkled from the lights above. Not gaudy or ostentatious. This was a woman of means.
 
‘But, the expression on her face betrayed her appearance. She walked up and said, “Michael, i understand you’re a speech coach!”
 
‘After glancing at her name tag, I said, “Yes, Patti, I am. Can I help you?”
 
‘She said, “I hope so! I’ve done something really stupid……”

One minute to capture interest in your stories

In 140 words, the scene has been established. The main character is introduced. Your senses have been engaged. In one minute, the listener is drawn in, and they’re curious about what is coming next.
 
The key to this opening is that you’re immediately intrigued and interested. This is a commonly-used  technique in Hollywood.
 
Long, drawn-out openings will lose audience interest and attention. Most speakers don’t understand this. They believe they have to over-explain their scenes. They want the listener to understand everything before introducing the action scenes.
 
This information may be interesting, but doesn’t add to the emotional connection of the scene. If you offer excess information, you’ll probably bore the audience.

Is there a “right” amount of details?

No. But a common number that works best is three. This number is common in speaking. That’s because it creates a rhythm that feels comfortable to the audience.
 
There are three examples in the story above:
 
“It was a festive atmosphere; people were talking excitedly, and you could feel the joy of old friends re-connecting.”
 
“I was standing by the dessert table, taking in the sweet scents of cake, pastries and cookies. It was so strong I could almost taste them.”
 
“While I was enjoying the moment, I noticed a woman quickly approaching me. She wore a beautiful tailored business suit, had nicely cut hair, and jewelry that sparkled from the lights above.”
 
Notice the natural flow of the narrative to describe the scene. Three details for each part of the scene is typically enough.
Want to capture the attention of your audience, and keep their interest? 
Quickly describe your scene, and get to the introduction of your key characters.
 
Use the tips provided here, and you’re well on your way to accomplishing this.

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How to Avoid Losing Audience Interest in Your Stories ultima modifica: 2017-10-13T21:27:18-04:00 da Michael Davis

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