1. Sensory Detail.
- The Rule of 3’s. There is an accepted writing principle that things grouped in three’s are more memorable or satisfying than other groupings. In telling your story, use descriptors and other elements in sets of three.
- Be specific about names, dates, colors, the weather – whatever will help set the stage and bring your audience along with you as you tell your story.
- Give background. Be sure to include who, what, when and where. What precipitated the experience? How did the situation come to be? Who did what to contribute to the circumstances?
- Add snap, crackle and pop! Words and phrases that command attention around specific points (as well as sounds and motions if you’re telling the story orally) really help your audience to connect because they’re able to relive the event with you. When you say, “The spring in the couch went twang!” everyone gets it.
2. Development of Information. Start with the villain (or challenge) and build the tension over a timeline to the climax of the story. End with the resolution of the challenge – the lesson in the story. This allows you to get your audience’s attention, make sure they understand, helps them to remember, and identifies the action that should be taken. And remember, tension is vitally important because it keeps the attention of the audience. If they get bored, you lose.
3. Intention. Begin with the end in mind. Without a clear vision of how you want your audience to think and feel by the end of your story, it is unlikely that you’ll get them there.
4. Connect. Remember that the goal is not to control your audience, but rather to connect with them – bring them along with you. When you relive a situation through telling the story, your audience relives it with you, so when your story is compelling, they will feel the way you do and be motivated to take the desired action.
5. Identify Who Benefits. Be sure your story illustrates how your character benefitted from the events. This implies that others could benefit in a similar way.
6. Oral and Non-Verbal Communication. When speaking in front of a live audience, take full advantage your voice, phrasing, gestures and movement to enhance your audience’s experience.