“Don’t get too excited about being a cunning fox. Rather, find your big thing, not how you tell, but what you tell.”
Chats, emails, Twitter, WhatsApp, minutes, briefings, whitepapers, project requirements, letters, SMS, blogposts, speeches, sometimes even books or book contributions…. The list of texts we write every day is long. And the stuff we say all day long, the spoken text, isn’t even included!
While wiping and typing on our smartphones and keyboards, we rarely think about how all the things we send out should be structured and worded. Recipients should understand it as easily as possible. After all, it’s about having the greatest possible impact. But: We just do it. Intuitively. Where would we learn to write short messages? Who would even teach us to write blogposts effectively? Schools? Colleges? Universities? Ha!
We’d rather leave it to the random intuition of the clueless writers and editors thrown into the bustling communications life. And the often tormented readers and listeners. It will be all right. Somehow.
Well. Because it often doesn’t work out, we can be glad that we don’t have to count solely on our teaching institutions that let us down. Fortunately, one or the other professional takes care of this matter. Professionals like Thomas Pyczak.
Storytelling is a craft that is not so much about linguistic skills, i.e. formulation, text structure, etc., but rather about the structure of the content. Rather, it is about effective narratives.
Thomas Pyczak shows different ways to give the message a telling, a more understandable structure: Why is storytelling so important when you want to inform people and “take them along”? What are the basic patterns of human storytelling? All the way to even agile story development. (Which is a little sophistry. But, hey, who am I to judge agile chumminess).
What’s great about Thomas Pyczak’s book is that, on the one hand, it gives the right amount of background information and, on the other hand, it always keeps the concrete implementation in mind. Therefore, there are really many concrete approaches on what to do to get one’s own story into a good, effective form (e.g., when it comes to creating a presentation).
Thomas Pyczak obviously has his roots in journalism. He simply writes well, doing storytelling himself in a sympathetic way. But you can also tell that Pyczak likes to write flowing text. All those who like it fast and pictorial may therefore be a bit disappointed. Readers, however, will be pleased. Pyczak is enthusiastic about the subject. This is infectious and motivating, informative and instructive at the same time.