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10 Ways to Keep a Story Concise & Inspiring

By March 7, 2018March 16th, 2022Storytelling

Weekly, maybe even daily people ask me, “How do I a share a concise story that moves people?”

I’m passionate about sharing stories about the impact of your work. When you tell a well-crafted story you cause listeners and readers to want to do MORE. One of my “rules” is that your story, when spoken, should be two minutes or less. To help you, I’ve put together this list of ten easy-to-use tips to keep things short and sweet!

10 Ways to Keep a Story Concise & Inspiring

1. Follow this simple arc of storytelling
Put 30 seconds worth of words to each of the three steps: challenge, struggle, and resolution
Use the Arc of Storytelling for a Concise Story

2. Choose your words carefully.
Use descriptive words. (e.g. “gnarled hands” instead of “has arthritis”)

3. Tell the story to someone aged 10 or younger.
You’ll tell the story differently and it will be more engaging.

4. Answer this question before you start to tell your story
What is it that I want people to FEEL about the person I’m going to tell them about? Jot down a few descriptive, emotionally connecting words and work them into your story. (e.g. had never felt truly safe, hungry to learn, felt ashamed, overwhelmed, weary to the bone…)

5. The details, tiny nuggets of information, make a story more compelling.

6. You Do NOT have to share EVERY single thing about the person you are talking about.
Share a snippet of something they said that made you pause, or share the way someone looked just before your organization helped something happen to them.

A concise Story is more engaging than reports7. Remember you are telling a story and NOT giving a report.

8. Less is more.
Cause the listener or reader to want to know the ending. . . and more! Sharing a short, powerful example of your work will cause others to ask you a question about the person you are talking about.

9. Don’t tell anyone I told you this, but the truth is, while the words are important, it’s your passion in recounting the story that matters.

10. Practice.
This will take a long, drawn out, ho hum story to something different IF you notice where people are inspired while you are talking.

Get ALL the support you need to create powerful stories in the Complete Storytelling System. You’ll get access to all nine Modules with worksheets and nine short training videos to guide you and your staff every step of the way.

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