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How to Be Memorable (Part 2): Crafting a Story

Storytelling is the foundation for effective, memorable communication. Once you've hooked your audience, you need characters, plot arcs, and resolution to make the story stick. Get-It-Done Guy explains how to tell memorable stories. 

By
Stever Robbins,
Episode #337

In the last Get-It-Done Guy episode about using stories to be memorable, listener Andreas asked how to create powerful stories that make content memorable and motivating to an audience.

He claimed that I'm a genius at telling stories, while I modestly protested that it's nothing special. I've since discovered I was wrong! I am a genius, and for an appropriate fee, am thrilled to apply my genius to help you create a compelling, memorable story that raises money, acquires customers, gets you a job, or helps you become a powerful leader who can take over the world. Just visit www.SteverRobbins.com to contact me.

Getting back to the point, in the first episode of this storytelling series, we discovered why stories are so memorable, how your content becomes the plot of the story, and how we need to begin a story so people get drawn in and want to hear the rest. That episode was all about the conceptual, planning parts of the story. Today, we'll discuss creating the specifics.

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Creativity Demands a Notepad

First and foremost, grab a little 3x5" notepad and a pencil and carry it around with you everywhere.

A lot of the ideas for stories come from real life and you want to be able to jot them down quickly and easily. Use a paper and pencil because (as I've mentioned in previous episodes) research shows that handwritten notes get retained more thoroughly than electronic notes. You want that. You want it all bouncing around in your unconscious so they come out when you need them. A computer can log your ideas, but they won't come to mind when you need your creativity.

Find Characters in Real Life

Every good story needs characters. Characters are easy. I just take them from real life. When you meet someone and think, "What a character!" write them down! Make a few notes on to their defining characteristics, so you can weave those into your story. Voila, you have your next protagonist!

Here's my cast of chacters: Bernice and Melvin are based on my real-life high school friends Becky and Everett. Becky was a strong-willed owner of her own store and Everett was a computer geek.

When something in real life excites, charms, alarms, or mystifies you, use it!

Europa comes from the 1981 song "Europa and the Pirate Twins" and the mid-1990s sequel, Eastern Bloc. With a name like Europa and a background as a pop star, it was obvious that she simply had to be the secret mastermind controller of the entire Eastern Bloc. Thomas, her android son, is of course the composer of those songs, Thomas Dolby. Why an android? Because I always thought Dolby's hit song "She Blinded Me with Science" was about an android. I was wrong, but the association seemed fun, so I kept it.

Europa and Thomas made their debut when I heard that Dolby was about to release his first new album in years and the characters were my way of paying homage. Plus, Europa gives me a character who is a business expert, so she can chime in on certain topics in a way that the other characters can't.

Grandma Cuddles is completely fictional. Audrey 2 is the man-eating plant from the musical Little Shop of Horrors. MG, the new intern, is a real person, investigative journalist MG Lee, and he is voiced by the real MG.

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