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Storytelling as a study technique

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —September 9, 2008
Filed in Business storytelling

A few posts ago I described one of the reasons why stories are memorable: they evoke emotion.

But stories are also memoriable because they create a framework for us to hang ideas, facts and concepts from.

Thanks to Daryl Cook and the magic of delicious I read this post on how to use storytelling to remember your what you have just learned in a lecture.

  • After each class, tell a “story” about the material covered—a five minute summary of the concepts that drove the lecture.
  • Don’t bother writing it down. Instead, just say it to yourself while walking to your next class. Treat it like you’re a literary agent or movie producer pitching the lecture at an important meeting.
  • Cover the big picture flow of ideas, not the small details. Answer the question “why was this lecture important?”, not all the information it contained. Play up the flashy or unexpected.

Read the rest of Cal’s post for good examples and the full reasoning.

This is also relevant for those of us in the workplace who attend conferences, seminars or just have to bone up on a new topic for, say, a new job.

About  Shawn Callahan

Shawn, author of Putting Stories to Work, is one the world's leading business storytelling consultants. He helps executive teams find and tell the story of their strategy. When he is not working on strategy communication, Shawn is helping leaders find and tell business stories to engage, to influence and to inspire. Shawn works with Global 1000 companies including Shell, IBM, SAP, Bayer, Microsoft & Danone. Connect with Shawn on:

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