“It is not the man who has too little, but the man who craves more, that is poor.”
Why is nobody consuming your content?
Why is less information more?
How to keep people engaged in the attention war era?
We all spend so much time getting our message across the board.
Often we think that storytelling is only for writers, directors, or TED speakers.
Yet we all tell stories in so many areas of our life:
When we interview for a job,
When we want to share what happened to us with friends and family,
When we answer the question about what we did the last weekend,
When we tell bed stories to our children,
When we do a presentation at work,
Each time we tell something that happened to us in the past, we are storytellers.
We all communicate daily, whether we like it or not. Yet often, we feel frustrated when other people don’t get the message.
We are even more disappointed when they don’t pay attention when we are sharing our story, that fantastic story.
Maybe we think that our story is fantastic.
Yet we must ask ourselves the following question:
Are we telling it in a compelling way that keeps other people engaged?
Before we talk about the ultimate secret of telling the best stories ever, let us explore the reasons why we want to tell stories in the first place.
We tell stories for the 3 main following reasons:
- To empathize: we want to build a connection with our audience.
- To persuade: we want the audience to accept our worldview.
- To communicate: we believe that we have information worth sharing.
A short story of how I got richer than I could ever imagine.
I am sitting there. I cannot see more than one meter ahead of me.
It’s pitch black. My watch is indicating: 11:58 PM.
There he appears before me. “Wow, you are punctual!” I said.
“Let’s cut to the chase. I can make you richer beyond your imagination.” He replied.
“What is the catch?” I replied.
“There is no catch. There is just a price to pay like everything in life.” He answered calmly by looking at his watch.
“Wait! What? There is no way I am giving you the last decade of my life in exchange for just being rich!” I screamed.
“There is another way to be twice as rich as you are today.” He mumbled as he started to fade back into the forest.
“Ok, it is a more challenging way. But I prefer to take that path.” I answered.
I look around. He is gone. I see the sun rising. I look at my watch.
“What? 05:00 AM?! We just talked for about 5 minutes.”, I yelled, alone in the cold.
As I go back home, I wonder how many people accept his deal.
I remember what he said in the conversation: “This is the most popular offer because I have a 90% success rate on it. So it would be best if you took this one-time offer. There will be no other opportunity.”
Why would anyone take such a deal?
Why exchange the last decade of our lives to be rich?
What is the point of killing myself to be wealthy that way if I cannot enjoy it?
I took his alternative offer.
“The other solution: You can reduce your wants by half, and you will double your wealth today. Do it for the rest of your life. You will be richer beyond your imagination.”
This is how I got richer than I could have ever imagined.
The information gap: the best way to share stories worth telling.
I am curious if you read the story above until the end.
I applied the “information gap” technique to keep you hooked until the end.
Create an information gap by using the following tricks:
- Building anticipation.
1. CURIOSITY: YOUR HEADLINE IS EVERYTHING — Be it a book, an article, a podcast, a Youtube video, the title of your story should spark curiosity from the readers.
People’s attention is the new oil. If you fail to grab it in the first 2 seconds they see your content, you have already lost.
In the story above, I tried to spark your curiosity by giving enough information that you can relate to. Yet, I did not give it all either.
Bonus tip: I added “short” in the title because you don’t have time for long stories. Make your content short and straightforward.
2. OPEN LOOP: SPARK CURIOSITY AND INTRODUCE ANOTHER TOPIC — When telling your story, don’t linearly give it all. That is boring.
Telling a story is like a Tango dance: use the dance floor in all directions, speed some steps, slow at unexpected moments, keep your partner surprised.
In storytelling, your partner is the audience consuming your content. Give information bit by bit. Make some detours to give more context to your story.
In the story above, I gave the time, then the location.
Do you remember the name of the other protagonist? Exactly.
Don’t give everything to your audience. Use open questions and let them come to their conclusion.
Bonus tip: Use the word “because” to make your content more compelling. Ask some open questions with “Why…”. Then, give one alternative answer by starting with “Because…”.
3. BUILDING ANTICIPATION: TEASE WHAT IS NEXT — We all want to build a community of people around our content. The best way to keep them around and build our audience is to tease what is to come.
Always share with people what is coming next and why they should follow you for what is to come.
Maybe you can split that long content into small and short digestible pieces served in a “mini-series” format.
Make sure to build content in advance so that you can create anticipation in people’s minds.
PS: Let me know if you want to learn more about the other protagonist in my story above.
Bonus tip: make sure to deliver on your commitments. Do not use clickbait techniques if you are not delivering on your promise.
Here is the summary of the information gap technique:
- Curiosity: Your headline is everything,
- Open-loop: Spark interest and introduce another topic,
- Building anticipation: Tease what is next.
The information gap technique is all about that magic ingredient of life: surprise. Because ultimately, we build hope and live because we don’t know how things will unfold.
We don’t know what is coming, good or bad. So we embrace life as it comes to us. At least we should try.
If we all knew the story of our life before it happened, our existence would miss that spicy ingredient: the information gap.
Are you ready to tell the next story that changed your life after reading this article?
I am waiting…!
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#BIOS #BringInyourOwnSoul #LeadHeartship #Leadership
You can read my previous article on Are you struggling to create your vision in life? You are not alone. These are the 3 simple techniques that will help you craft your vision. (Friendly link)