There is a such a huge difference between an announcement and a story – but too often people confuse the two. We can be much better communicators, things stick better in our memories and encourage us, if we tell stories rather than just announce things.
Let me give you an example.
A wedding announcement is usually a fun thing to get in the mail. It is usually printed on really nice paper, in a finely crafted envelope usually with colored ribbon or tissue paper, and sometimes even includes the picture of the engaged couple. The announcement will include information of when the wedding is and details about where it will be held. They are beautiful pieces of art that I have saved away the many I have received in my memory box. But for the most part, announcements are informational.
Now contrast the announcement with that couples’ usually unique and fun ‘story’. Which do you remember better? Which create a better bond to your friends? Was their engagement story like my friend Liz’s epic chase around town to find clues that she needed to unravel from foreign films she and her boyfriend Justin had watched together only to find him and the ring at the end? Talk about a story. How about how they met years ago, were part of a punk band that was disbanded after one day, then dated others through the years and found each other again. Wow. And then compare the story their pictures tell by their DIY-inspired wedding.
Even though their announcement used amazing typefaces and was fun … it was mainly informational. Their story was much more memorable …
… and beautiful.
If you want what you are saying to stick in someone’s head, one of the common methods that anyone can use is ‘story’. Story telling is key to effectively communicate – to build a relationship. But please don’t confuse that with an announcement – they are not even in the same league.
So, what stories do you need to tell?