COMM0014 – Tell a Story: How to Get Five Marks in Four Easy Steps

Da dummmmm; with a magical flourish and a stunning pose the show ends. The End.

Step number one – always start with the end in mind.

Could you go on a trip without knowing where you are going? Some people have a terrific sense of adventure. They are willing to chance their fate to a complete stranger. There are last minute deals you can buy, which promise trips of a life time at a fraction of the cost. But are they?

Step number two – ask a question to hook your readers.

A few years ago I read an interesting book on copywriting for advertising. The goal of the first paragraph is to get someone to read the second paragraph. Did my question get you to continue reading this paragraph?

Step number three – use steps to make your point.

As societies evolve, we are exposed to more information. Unfortunately, we don’t always have enough time to read that information. If you use short sentences and bullet points, then your reader can easily follow your story. Are you still following along?

Step number four – use active language.

Using the word steps sounds more appealing and will attract you to read this story more than if the headline read: “How to Get Five Marks in Four Easy Bullets”. Steps has a more forward and positive connotation. Bullets are shot from guns and can kill. Which do you think is more appropriate?

Bonus Step – Add Value by Giving More.

If I was able to get you to read all of my step points, then my story did its job. By reading just the step points you will understand the purpose of my story. If I was able to get you to also read ALL of the paragraphs, then I deserve extra marks, because my story held your attention until the end, which was really the point of this story. What do you think? Tell me and our readers. Write your opinion to this story in the comment section bellow. (Extra Bonus Points, because that was also a call to action)!

COMM0014 – Blog #1 – Vacation?

Vacation? As in an all to brief period of time which I am supposed to vacate my place of employment? Sometimes I wonder if the concept escapes me. Perhaps my vacation has gone on a vacation?

The last time I vacated my place of work for a grand total of 4 days, was last February. But I don’t want to write about that one, because all I did was stretch out on the couch and watch The House of Cards on Netflix.

Lets also forget last summer, because that was also a staycation and I forget what I did. They say your memory is the first thing to go. I think I turned 50; my in-laws from Scotland came to visit; my wife through a surprise party for me; I played tour guide; drove people wherever they wanted to go and played the role of the dutiful and polite host. Eh, it  probably wasn’t that big a deal and you probably aren’t interested in reading about that one either.

I suppose, the last time I vacated both my place of employment AND my home was October of 2011. Sheesh, that’s going back a while!

On that trip I boarded a plane; flew with my knees glued to my chin for almost eight hours (literally, because the friggin’ discount airline oversold the plane by 50 passengers and they had to disconnect the recline button on the seats, because they were so squished together, there wasn’t any room to recline or for my legs), to a little island called Great Britain.

2011 © Michael Vuckovic

2011 © Michael Vuckovic

Once we arrived in Great Britain, in a place called London, we unfolded our legs and went to visit our friend Alix. She has a wonderful black cat called Mineau, which lets Alix feed her on a daily basis and open the window on command – even at 3:00 a.m.. From our bedroom.

36 hours after arriving in London, we were in a car driving towards the southern tip of Great Britain, to a costal town called Newquay, which is pronounced Nookie. I don’t know why we got so many snickers, giggles and “excuse me?”, when we said where we went?

As we drove on the wrong side of the road, while operating a vehicle on the wrong side of the car; about halfway along our journey, from a short distance away, we saw these interesting ancient rocks in a weird formation. A sign posted on the wrong side of the highway said Stonehenge. Hmmmm.

2011 © Michael Vuckovic

2011 © Michael Vuckovic

Our half day drive took us was a bit longer than half a day. 13 hours.

For the remaining 72 hours, we walked along the cliffs overlooking the ocean; attended a friend of my wife’s wedding; got back in our vehicle; drove back to the airport; boarded a plane; gently squeeeeeezed my knees back up to my chin; caught a really bad cold and returned home.
The end.