Do Your Report Your Story?

When you present your story, are you a narrator, or do you employ dialogue?   If you’re not sure of the difference, narration sounds like this…

“My son was so excited on Christmas morning.  He woke me up at 5:13 am and told me he’d been up since 4:00. He said he thought he heard Santa Claus on the roof.  I sleepily told him I’d be right down so he could open his gifts.

This is narration – you are telling the story much like a news anchor.  This is not a bad way of presenting, yet, it doesn’t fully engage the audience.  They are passive spectators.

Add Sizzle – Bring Them Into Your Story

How to Transform Your Story Into an Experience

Add Sizzle to Make Your Stories Memorable

Compare this with dialogue between the characters…

He came running into my room. ‘Daddy! Daddy!  Santa was here!’

Half-awake, I opened one eye and looked at the clock. 


“Brenden, how long have you been up?”

“Since 4:00.  I heard Santa on the roof, Dad!”  

Coming to my senses, I said “OK buddy, go on. I’ll be down in a minute…”


Can you feel the difference?

Can you hear the excitement in my son’s voice?

My groggy response?

More excitement from Brenden, and then, me calling after him to wait to open presents.

Active Participant Versus Bystander

Did you feel more like you were an active participant, in the scene? Could you picture the interaction between the two?

This is how dialogue brings your story to life.  You receive insight into the characters. More of the audiences senses are involved.  They feel as if they are in the story.

Keys to Effective Dialogue

There are two keys to using dialogue that sizzles:

1. Speak in conversational language, with words that people actually say. In the example above, I would ruin the believability of the scene if I said: “My child rousted me from my early morning slumber on that Christmas morning. He exclaimed, “Father! Santa delivered the packages! Could you please get out of bed so that we can open them….”

I’m slightly exaggerating, but not much. Too often, I hear stories that aren’t believable because the dialogue, if there is any, sounds like it’s taken from a novel.  If you’re recreating scenes, especially those with emotion, talk the way the people in the scene spoke. The words should match the personality and emotion of the character.

2. No more than three lines of dialogue per character in each scene. In the scene above, my son had two lines and I had three. That’s all that was needed to set the stage for the scene.

If you use more than three lines per character, the scene will be too long. The audience will get bored.

Dialogue injects more life into presentations, deepens your connection and creates an experience for your audience. It sets the stage for scenes, and quickly moves your story forward.

This will help you create experiences that are remembered long after share your story.


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How to Transform Your Story Into an Experience ultima modifica: 2011-10-25T19:11:45-04:00 da Michael Davis