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The storyteller’s rope

Why did the storyteller bring a rope to his talk? To tie his stories together, but he just ended up tangling them more!

No, seriously, there’s a stark difference between crafting a cohesive narrative and cobbling together a bunch of stories, hoping that something sticks. The latter is like trying to make sense of a jigsaw puzzle with pieces from different boxes. Sure, each piece might be colorful and captivating, but together they’re just a confusing mess. The former, however, is an art form – using individual stories to guide the audience to a meaningful destination on a meaningful path.

Kudos to anyone who can weave in that hilarious story about their cat, a trip to Bermuda, and that one time they met a celebrity in an elevator. But if by the end of it, I’m left wondering what the connection was, or worse, what the entire talk was about, then we’ve missed the mark entirely.

It’s not about how many cool anecdotes you can cram in. It’s about making sure every thread counts. Don’t distract with the flash and the flair. If you’re just shooting for the “wow”, you’re probably missing the deeper “aha”.

Storytelling is a powerful tool, but think first about how the talk itself can be turned into a compelling story and only then about which stories and anecdotes can be used to illustrate your points.

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