Talking and Storytelling w1 reading notes


  1. Monomoyth (the hero’s journey):
    • Structure:
      • leaves home to a threatening, unknown place
      • overcomes great trail
      • returns home with newfound wisdom
    • Good for:
      • explaining what has brought you to the wisdom you’re sharing
      • bringing the message alive
      • showing the benefits of taking risks
  2. The Mountain
    • way of mapping the tension and drama in a story
    • doesn’t necessarily have a happy ending
    • Structure
      • scene is set
      • series of small challenges and rising action
      • climatic conclusion
    • like a TV series: each episode has ups and downs, all building up to a big season finale
    • Good for:
      • showing how you overcame a series of challenges
      • slowly building tension
      • delivering a satisfying conclusion
  3. Nested Loops
    • three or more narratives are layered within each other
    • Structure
      • the center = the most important story with the core of your message
      • outside layers elaborate or explain the central principle
      • the first story you begin with is the last story you finish, the second story you start is the penultimate you finish, etc
    • Good for:
      • explaining the process of how you were inspired/came to a conclusion
      • using analogies to explain a central concept
      • showing how a piece of wisdom was passed to you
  4. Sparklines
    • way of mapping presentation structures
    • very best speeches succeed because they contrast our ordinary world with an ideal, improved world—comparing what is with what could be
    • Good for:
      • inspiring the audience to action
      • creating hope and excitement
      • creating a following
    • MLK’s I Have a Dream speech
  5. In Media Res
    • Structure
      • narrative begins in the heat of the action
      • starts over at the beginning to explain how you got there
    • try hinting at something bizarre or unexpected, something that needs more explanation, to hook the audience
    • only works for shorter presentations
    • Good for:
      • grabbing attention from the start
      • keeping an audience craving resolution
      • focusing attention on a pivotal moment in your story
  6. Converging Ideas
    • shows the audience how different strands of thinking came together to form one idea
    • can be used to show the birth of a movement, explain how a single idea was the culmination of several minds working towards one goal
    • Good for:
      • showing how great minds came together
      • demonstrating how a development occurred at a certain point in hitsory
      • showing how symbiotic relationships formed
  7.  False Start
    • begin to tell a seemingly predictable story, before unexpectedly disrupting it and beginning it over again
    • good for talking about failures where you were forced to go back to square one and reassess; ideal for talking about the things that you learned from the experience, or some innovative way you solved a problem
    • quick attention hack which will disrupt your audience’s expectations
    • Good for:
      • disrupting audience expectations
      • showing the benefits of a flexible approach
      • keeping the audience engaged
  8. Petal Structure
    • organizes multiple speakers or stories around one central concept
    • useful if you have several unconnected stories you want to tell, or things you want to reveal, that all relate back to a single message
    • each petal should be a complete narrative in itself; evidence around your central theory
    • Good for:
      • demonstrating how strands of a story or process are interconnected
      • showing how several scenarios relate back to one idea
      • letting multiple speakers talk around a central theme