Story Structure: The Breakfast of Communications Champions

“But it’s just a  quick memo / sales presentation / team meeting…”

While planning your next business meeting, you’re probably not thinking of writing a Great American Novel like Slaughterhouse-Five or Breakfast of Champions.  With deadpan humor, acclaimed author Kurt Vonnegut shows in this 4 minute video how the same simple elements are at the core of most engaging communications structure.  These universal themes can apply even to brief business communications, whether spoken or written.  Ask yourself:

  • Who is the HERO of the story?  A client, an employee, a business partner?
  • What’s their CONFLICT?  Pricing, confusing strategy, regulations?  Be clear.
  • Have you built ANTICIPATION?  Emotions will sustain us over the conflict better than data.
  • How does this RELATE?  Can listeners make the story their own?   Are you listening to them?

As Vonnegut says, “People love that story!  They never get sick of it.”  Enjoy the video!

Posted in CHAPTER, Communication, Sales, Story Tagged with: , , ,
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  1. [...] a big fan of how Vonnegut distills a story down to its essence, and have previously shared this video of him teaching story [...]

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