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nec209

How can I get better at storytelling?

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What I mean by storytelling is when I read books and papers on biology, psychology, medicine, science and computers so on. Or when I watch the news or see other people talk about it and so on I cannot put it into story!!!  Like my own words.

Where you can express thoughts and explain it in your own words so it does not sound like I got it from a Google definition.

The other day I watched a 8 hour political debate and friend of mine ask me. I could not talk for more than 10 minutes.

The other day I read a chapter from a book and  I could not put it into words to explain it or talk about it for no more than 5 minutes.

I'm not sure if this is short term memory problem or I'm having hard time extracting the information from my brain.

 

 

 

 

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Try tabletop role-playing games - as a player first then moving onto a game master. Constantly narrating events, improvising scenarios and speaking in front of a group all make for good fun and practice.

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1 hour ago, nec209 said:

What I mean by storytelling is

I don't think that's a great word for what you mean. You aren't really trying to tell a "story", which is often embellished and may not even be true. 

You're trying to explain things you understand personally (to some degree) to someone else. In this you're like a teacher, you must lead your student towards understanding as if along a path. You don't just tell them the answer is 42, you explain how the answer is derived in a way that helps them reach the conclusion you want them to have. 

I wouldn't worry about condensing 8 hours of political debate down to 10 minutes. You probably mentioned everything important they said.

Same with the book chapter. Five minutes is plenty of explanation to someone who hasn't read the other chapters.

I really like Prometheus' suggestion, though. If you want to get better at explaining yourself, try talking your way out of a dragon's lair while holding a pith helmet full of gold and jewels, using the excuse that you're on a scientific expedition.

 

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17 minutes ago, Phi for All said:

In this you're like a teacher, you must lead your student towards understanding as if along a path. You don't just tell them the answer is 42, you explain how the answer is derived in a way that helps them reach the conclusion you want them to have. 

And that is why I think it is helpful to think of it as a story. :) 

1 hour ago, nec209 said:

What I mean by storytelling is when I read books and papers on biology, psychology, medicine, science and computers so on. Or when I watch the news or see other people talk about it and so on I cannot put it into story!!!  Like my own words.

It is important to think about where you want to get to, how you want to get there, what points you want to make, what order you introduce the concepts, etc. Think about the structure - what the listener/reader needs to know as they follow the story.

You need to get your own thoughts in order before trying to write it down. Some people find mind-maps helpful for this.

After that, it improves with practice...

Edited by Strange

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15 hours ago, Strange said:

And that is why I think it is helpful to think of it as a story. :) 

Perhaps I was too hung up on the angle that a "story" can be completely fabricated.

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17 hours ago, nec209 said:

What I mean by storytelling is when I read books and papers on biology, psychology, medicine, science and computers so on. Or when I watch the news or see other people talk about it and so on I cannot put it into story!!!  Like my own words.

Where you can express thoughts and explain it in your own words so it does not sound like I got it from a Google definition.

The other day I watched a 8 hour political debate and friend of mine ask me. I could not talk for more than 10 minutes.

The other day I read a chapter from a book and  I could not put it into words to explain it or talk about it for no more than 5 minutes.

I'm not sure if this is short term memory problem or I'm having hard time extracting the information from my brain.

Here are two distinct thoughts:

1. As Phi has already suggested there is merit in being brief. In general, people do not want long explanations. Aim for brevity and let them ask for more detail when and if they require it.

2. If you want to be good at anything then you need to practice. Then practice some more. Suggestion: go to this BBC Science News site and practice writing summaries of the news articles you find there. Read each one several times before you attempt the summary.

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5 minutes ago, Area54 said:

Here are two distinct thoughts:

1. As Phi has already suggested there is merit in being brief. In general, people do not want long explanations. Aim for brevity and let them ask for more detail when and if they require it.

 

Quote

Concise  kənˈsʌɪs
adjective

giving a lot of information clearly and in a few words; brief but comprehensive.

"a concise account of the country's history"

synonyms:    succinct, short, brief, to the point, pithy, incisive, short and sweet, crisp; More

 

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Pause a lot. (Kidding.) 

From what I’ve experienced, the best of story-tellers will over-emphasize points of a topic that they find intriguing. They’ll ask you questions that tie into this point, and because the question is phrased in a way that will make the point seem larger-than-life, the point made will start to seem self-explanatorily significant...when it may not be. It’s like “the clincher,” the hook that’s supposed to captivate you. Get good at that, and I’m sure you’ll keep your audience interested. 

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On 3/17/2018 at 4:04 PM, nec209 said:

What I mean by storytelling is when I read books and papers on biology, psychology, medicine, science and computers so on. Or when I watch the news or see other people talk about it and so on I cannot put it into story!!!  Like my own words.

Where you can express thoughts and explain it in your own words so it does not sound like I got it from a Google definition.

The other day I watched a 8 hour political debate and friend of mine ask me. I could not talk for more than 10 minutes.

The other day I read a chapter from a book and  I could not put it into words to explain it or talk about it for no more than 5 minutes.

I'm not sure if this is short term memory problem or I'm having hard time extracting the information from my brain.

 

 

 

 

Seems to me that you are talking about story telling per se. To make a good story out of political debate is hard, for example. What you seem to be talking about is a summarizing events and/or topics. But then you are looking at things from the wrong end. The length does not determine a god summary (or story). Quite the opposite, being concise is the important bit. You seem to want to reproduce things at full length, which is usually not useful. Rather, you should focus on key aspects and put them into context. 

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Practice. Basically, tell more stories. Then, watch folks you admire for good storytelling and try to emulate them. Then, practice more and continue telling more stories. Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

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