COM0014 – Blog 2 – Storytelling & Communication Styles

When I hear the word “storytelling,” I immediately think of Grampa Simpson spouting off nonsensical ramblings about wearing an onion on his belt during the war.  While this is a form of storytelling, it doesn’t translate well to a blog post.  In social media, storytelling is all about communicating a message in a concise, meaningful, easy to understand, and familiar way.  When using storytelling on social media, there are few important things to keep in mind…

  • Your writing needs to be clear and concise – You’re not Margaret Atwood. It is important to get to the point in your first few sentences, and be clear about what you want to get across. Make sure your writing is interesting, and always lead with your most important information.  Readers will skim titles, and the first few sentences, but will only read on if it is appealing to them
  • Make sure you check over your writing before posting it; read it out loud if you need to. Spelling and grammatical errors will turn off readers, and lessen your credibility in the subject area.  Remember there is always a keyboard warrior out there ready to pounce on your mistakes.
  • Keep your audience engaged by writing in an active voice, as opposed to a passive voice. Write as it comes naturally to you, and keep your tone positive; readers will respond accordingly.

After you have hooked your audience in with a catchy title, killer opening, and well written copy, you can’t just leave them hanging. Always include a call to action; this is the reason why you have written your piece, and what you want them to do next.

Concise writing has always been difficult for me.  It has become more natural for me the more I do it, but I often feel like I am not putting enough in.  Do the rest of you share this struggle?  How do you keep your word count down, and still get your point across?  Share your comments below.

Blog Post 2 – Storytelling and Communication Styles

2047710-vector-primitive-figures-looks-like-cave-paintingStory telling is a tradition that goes back as far as privative times, yet is still as relevant and necessary in today’s age of social media. To be a good story teller one must understand basic communication styles enabling the story teller to take the reader on a journey, and inspire them to form their own ideas and opinions on what is written.

What are some basic communication styles?

  1. Begin with the end in mind – It’s very important to know what kind of experience you want to take your reader on and where you want them to end up. Think about if you want your reader to learn, be inspired, or just entertained by the end of your writing and what call to action you want them to have in the end i.e. comment, question or repost.
  2. Don’t burry the lead – Remember to put the most important and eye catching information in your opening paragraph. A reader’s attention span is very short and if you don’t grab their attention right away you will have lost them completely and they will move on from your writing immediately
  3. Clarity and conciseness – Keep your writing clear and to the point. The easier it is for the reader to scan and read what you have written the more likely they are to dig deeper into it.
  4. Grammar, spelling and punctuation – If your writing is poor and full of grammar, spelling and punctuation mistakes your credibility is gone and the reader will no longer trust you.
  5. Passive vs. active voice – Using an active voice rather than passive one makes for a more clearer and interesting read.
    storytelling

Ultimately most people are not born story tellers. Practice makes perfect and the more you write the better you will be come and the easier it will get. Storytelling is an art form and if you wish to do it never stop trying. For more ways to learn how to be a better writer check out Inspired Mag: Business Writing for the Web – 27 Ways to Write Better, Alan Martin. http://www.inspiredm.com/persuasive-writing/

COMM 0014 – Blog 2 – The Heart of Good Communication – Telling a Story That Matters

I have learned that good communication is based on developing a compelling story using a straight-forward style that reaches out to the audience. The movie Up Close & Personal with Robert Redford and Michelle Pfeifer brings these tenets to life. It is a great movie!

Robert Redford plays the role of a producer for a small Miami-based news program, although once he was at the top of the heap as a famous correspondent. He mentors Michele Pfeiffer as a budding reporter, resulting in her eventual rise to the position of news anchor for a major broadcaster.

Redford’s main message is that news is about telling stories about real people that will stir emotions and create impact on the listener.  It goes way beyond facts and simple ideas. “What we in the news business can never forget is we’re only good as the stories we tell.”

In the early part of the movie, during her first live on-air opportunity, she tries to tell the story of two Cubans who have jumped ship of the coast of Miami Beach and drowned 25’ feet from “making it”. Redford keeps bringing her back to the two Cubans, to their circumstances, hopes and dreams of reaching America for a better life – Why did they do this? What did they die for? She finally gets it and covers the human angle of the story using everyday language in a clear and concise way in the short time she is given. The impact is powerful!

They both understand that audiences are people and the best way to connect with them is to create new, compelling stories that convey people’s feelings. It is the kind of experience people want and the kind of experience you want your audience to have.

For some reason, this movie line “What is the story?” has stayed with me and invariably comes to mind when I gather ideas for content, whether it be a blog, a video script or any other pertinent communication material.  It also helps me come up with the most important part of the story which eventually becomes the lead.

Do you have other examples you could share with me?

 

 

 

Blog #2 – Story Telling and Communication Styles – Matthew Stolarik

Get to the point! A solid introduction leading into the body helps reveal what the topic is about and what key elements are going to be addressed.  Nothing makes the reader or audience more aggravated than reading something that has no point, engaging the audience as much as possible and expanding their imagination is a plus.  The tone of voice is also an extremely large factor. Have you ever sat in class for a two hour period listening to a monotone teacher? I know I have and it was the most boring semester I’ve ever sat through, I’m surprised I even passed.

 

“You have ten to fifteen seconds and then you’re done!” Have you ever heard that expression? I know I have as musician and especially in the public speaking sector.  You have ten to fifteen seconds to engage the crowd in something uplifting or you’ve lost the audience’s attention.  Whether its storytelling or a written paper make sure the words jump out to the audience, almost like a brand statement – “Your statement is 1-2 sentences answering what you are the best at (value), who you serve (audience) and how you do it uniquely (USP). It sums up your unique promise of value. Your personal brand statement is distinctive to you and you alone.” (N/A, 2015)

References

N/A. (2015, June 1). Personal Branding. Retrieved from How to Craft Your Personal Brand Statement: http://theundercoverrecruiter.com/how-craft-your-personal-brand-statement/

 

COM0014 – Blog # 2: Storytelling and Communication Styles

Interested in learning not only how to improve your writing but increase your readership too? Keep reading.

Encourage interaction
Would you like your readers to actually read your work from beginning to end and not just skim through it? Here are few things writers should keep in mind when preparing content.

Always start with the most interesting information at the top. This is called the inverted pyramid. By not burying the lead, it captures the reader’s attention and in most cases, has them reading til the end.

Don’t just state facts and comments. Remain engaged with your readers by asking them questions. This will help start communication and foster a two-way conversation.

Share, share and share. Make it easy for people to re-post and share your content or page by using social media buttons, like the ShareThis button. Don’t forget, the internet can lead to viral opportunities with just one click from the mouse.

Take full advantage.

Communication styles
Are you reaching your target audience? There are several ways to develop your own personal communication style. But here are some pointers that every writer should incorporate as part of their style if they want to reach their audience.

Be clear and concise: The internet world is very vast and there’s lots of competition. Your beginning, middle and end should be clear in what you’re trying to convey.

Grammar, spelling and punctuation: You can lose some serious opportunities, credibility and have a reader look elsewhere if you don’t triple check your work.

Use an active voice: People tend to make the biggest mistake by writing in a passive voice. Avoid this faux-pas by putting your subject in an active role. It’s more interesting this way, and where there’s interest, there are readers.

Practice: It’s true what they say, practice makes perfect. So don’t fret, the more you write, the better you’ll become. Keep calm and practice on.

Storytelling
How is your story useful to others? What can your readers gain from what you have to say in your written work? A good story gets passed on when it’s interesting and when people feel connected to it so keep that in mind when writing content. Paint them a picture with your words – be creative, descriptive, have a good flow and ensure clarity – and you’ll have them reading out of your palms.

I hope that these simple writing tips and tricks can help you improve your work. If you have any comments or questions about this article, please don’t hesitate to post a comment.

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References:
http://www.sharethis.com/get-sharing-tools/#sthash.ukCgHfIY.dpbs
http://teddemopoulos.articlealley.com/blog-writing-dont-bury-the-lead-783743.html
http://www.zdnet.com/20-more-writing-mistakes-that-make-you-look-stupid-3039286660/

COMM0014 (Blog #2) – Storytelling & Communication Styles

Why has storytelling been such a fundamental aspect of human life?Storytelling

There has been a great transition throughout the centuries in storytelling and communication, beginning with scratches on cave walls to now on the World Wide Web. It is on the internet that we capture, share and preserve our stories in a new age digital form. The shift in communication form is a direct representation of our culture, self-identity and even our societies as a whole. When telling a story you are speaking in a universally understood format and in a relatable context that brings people together.

What type of communication style is used for business?

As with any communication style it is the: who, what, when, where, why that needs to be addressed. When including these details it is important to use an active voice and persuade your reader to do something, to take action. Be sure to know what action you want your reader to take by writing clearly and concisely in a familiar and friendly tone.

How do you encourage interaction with your audience?

Before you begin writing you must research and listen to your audience. Make sure you know them well in order to select the appropriate tone and writing style. Think about what action you want them to take and write positively to encourage your reader to respond. In order to be positive avoid insecure wording such as perhaps, apparently and usually. Lastly, be concise in this request but complete and your reader will be inspired to act accordingly.