Resonance and Relevance.

One of the most essential elements of story is connection. How the listener may connect to the story. How is it relevant to them? Does it resonate with them? The difference between engaging someone with a story and talking at them is all about resonance and relevance.

What stories engage your empathy? Connect you to the tale that is spun? What stories make you want to donate money to a cause? Attend an event? Buy a product? Vote for a candidate?

These are the questions I try to untangle when I attempt to turn informative facts into a story.

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One response to “Resonance and Relevance.

  1. I’m in the process of figuring that out right now. As you know, people connect with stories where they can see themselves in the past, present or future. People seem to respond well to biographies, even if they cannot necessarily see themselves in the focal character. Sometimes we stand back in awe of great accomplishments, and people of great character. A sincere speech filled with humanity and honesty can move people to embrace a cause. A complex storyline, if told well, can be mesmerizing.

    It is interesting what my students respond to: 1. a documentary on Nellie Bly and what she accomplished by age 25 (the age seems to resonate with my students); they always want to know why they had not heard of her before my class; 2. a speech by the late, great Jimmy Valvano (NC State basketball coach accepting the 1993 ESPY “Courage” award); his qualities of integrity, humor and optimism are manifest in this speech); 3. the film “Memento” – although incredibly complex, the idea of the story compelled them to follow the plot through to the end.

    Just some thoughts ….

    Congrats on the blog, Stan!

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