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Here’s a simple truth that great authors understand:
We start reading. Then we keep reading.

In other words: The story unfolds. Step by step.

Specifically, a story is not told by dumping everything the author knows at once. We don’t learn the backstory of the hero on page 1. We learn it when we’re ready to learn it … when it’s exactly the information that keeps us reading.

Looking at storytelling through that lens means that it might be simpler than most storytelling frameworks suggest. Basically, we face two challenges:

  1. We need to get our audience’s attention.
  2. We need to keep it.

Specifically, we don’t need to tell our audience everything at once. We only need to make them keep reading. (Or listening. Or watching.)

The good news is that this starts with the simple skill of listening. The better you listen, the better you’ll be able to understand what resonates so strongly that it will get – and keep – your audience’s attention.

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A presentation can be brilliantly argued, beautifully designed, masterfully delivered … … and still fail because it lacks a compelling answer to one simple question:

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