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46. Reverse Engineer Your Stories

46. Reverse Engineer Your Stories

I’ll keep this brief, this article from author Barry Eisler explains this much better than I can. When you create a story you need to understand what you’re trying to accomplish. Once you know your goals, it will be a lot easier to craft a story around them. This is especially important in goal-driven storytelling like advertising or public-speaking.

“When choosing the content of your talk, you have to ask, what does the audience want out of this? What do they expect? Why are these people taking time out of their busy day to listen to me? A related — but not identical question — is, what do *I* want the audience to get out of this?”

He goes onto say,

Nothing is more important to the content of your talk than reverse engineering it by starting with what the audience is there for. I once gave a talk at a seminar on entrepreneurship (and here’s the essay I wrote based on that talk. A lot of the information is the same, but the presentation is different — because one was a talk, the other is an essay). One of the speakers gave a death-by-PowerPoint presentation that would have been crushingly boring even if it had been delivered to the audience for whom it was designed: investors. That’s right, this guy gave so little thought to what his current audience was there for (to learn lessons about entrepreneurship) that he just ran through the same slides about his startup that he used to try to extract money from investors. It was a complete waste of time, disrespectful to the audience, and made the presenter look like a fool.

The video isn’t Barry, it’s futurist Dr. Patrick Dixon. It expands on some of the points Barry made and drives home the core lesson. Stories are written for people, and telling good stories means keeping people in the equation at all times.

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  • publicspeakingcourses

    Great post.

    It is so important to keep your audience in mind. If you donb;t have them in mind, there is no chance they will have you in mind!

    Cheers

    Darren Fleming
    Australia's Public Speaking Coach

  • publicspeakingcourses

    Great post.

    It is so important to keep your audience in mind. If you donb;t have them in mind, there is no chance they will have you in mind!

    Cheers

    Darren Fleming
    Australia's Public Speaking Coach

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