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Telling Great Stories by Diana B. Henriques
Telling Great Stories by Diana B. Henriques
Telling Great Stories by Diana B. Henriques
Telling Great Stories by Diana B. Henriques
Telling Great Stories by Diana B. Henriques
Telling Great Stories by Diana B. Henriques
Telling Great Stories by Diana B. Henriques
Telling Great Stories by Diana B. Henriques
Telling Great Stories by Diana B. Henriques
Telling Great Stories by Diana B. Henriques
Telling Great Stories by Diana B. Henriques
Telling Great Stories by Diana B. Henriques
Telling Great Stories by Diana B. Henriques
Telling Great Stories by Diana B. Henriques
Telling Great Stories by Diana B. Henriques
Telling Great Stories by Diana B. Henriques
Telling Great Stories by Diana B. Henriques
Telling Great Stories by Diana B. Henriques
Telling Great Stories by Diana B. Henriques
Telling Great Stories by Diana B. Henriques
Telling Great Stories by Diana B. Henriques
Telling Great Stories by Diana B. Henriques
Telling Great Stories by Diana B. Henriques
Telling Great Stories by Diana B. Henriques
Telling Great Stories by Diana B. Henriques
Telling Great Stories by Diana B. Henriques
Telling Great Stories by Diana B. Henriques
Telling Great Stories by Diana B. Henriques
Telling Great Stories by Diana B. Henriques
Telling Great Stories by Diana B. Henriques
Telling Great Stories by Diana B. Henriques
Telling Great Stories by Diana B. Henriques
Telling Great Stories by Diana B. Henriques
Telling Great Stories by Diana B. Henriques
Telling Great Stories by Diana B. Henriques
Telling Great Stories by Diana B. Henriques
Telling Great Stories by Diana B. Henriques
Telling Great Stories by Diana B. Henriques
Telling Great Stories by Diana B. Henriques
Telling Great Stories by Diana B. Henriques
Telling Great Stories by Diana B. Henriques
Telling Great Stories by Diana B. Henriques
Telling Great Stories by Diana B. Henriques
Telling Great Stories by Diana B. Henriques
Telling Great Stories by Diana B. Henriques
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Telling Great Stories by Diana B. Henriques

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Diana B. Henriques presents, "Telling Great Stories," a free webinar hosted by the Donald W. Reynolds National Center for Business Journalism. …

Diana B. Henriques presents, "Telling Great Stories," a free webinar hosted by the Donald W. Reynolds National Center for Business Journalism.

Check out additional materials from the webinar at the following link:
http://businessjournalism.org/2012/08/10/telling-great-stories-self-guided-training/.

For more information on free training for business journalists, please visit businessjournalism.org

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  • 1. Telling  Great  Stories  The  repor(ng  is  done.  The  facts  are  checked.  The  thesis  is  solid  and  important.     Now:   You  want  folks  to  actually  read  this?  
  • 2. What  we’ll  cover:  •  Using  facts  appropriately  •  Repor(ng  for  great  storytelling  •  Using  human  nature  to  hold  your  reader  •  Drawing  lessons  from  potboilers  and  the   silver  screen  
  • 3. First,  let’s  do  a  reality  check…        Given  X  amount  of   (me  to  report  and   write  a  story,  what   percentage  of  (me   would  you  devote   to  repor(ng?   Photo  by  Flickr  user  U.S.  Fish  and  Wildlife  Service  –   Northeast  Region  
  • 4. Using  facts  appropriately   The  Goldilocks  Rule:     Not  too  many  facts,   Not  too  few  facts  
  • 5. Every  story  has  a  burden  of  proof       “Cap(ve  Clientele:  Part  One”  
  • 6. The  “CapEve  Clientele”  thesis  •  Several   financial   services   companies   or   their   agents   are   using   ques(onable   tac(cs   on   military   bases   to   sell   insurance   and   investments   that   may   not   fit   the   needs   of   people   in   uniform...The   Pentagon   has   been   aware   of   prac(ces   like   these   since   the   Vietnam   War;   inves(ga(ons   have   even   cited   specific   companies   and   agents.   But   because  of  industry  lobbying,  Congressional  pressure,  weak   enforcement   and   the   Pentagon’s   ineffec(ve   oversight,   almost  no  ac(on  has  been  taken.  
  • 7. Diana’s  Rule  #1  Use  all  the  facts  required  to  meet  your   burden  of  proof  –     and  not  one  fact  more!  
  • 8. Poll  QuesEon  #1:   Which  fact  is  not  needed  to  meet  the  burden  of  proof  in  “Cap(ve  Clientele”?  
  • 9. Ouch.  The  editor  says  cut  the  story…          What  could  be   eliminated  from   the  “Cap(ve   Clientele”  thesis   to  reduce  my   burden  of  proof   so  I  could  cut  the   Photo  by  Flickr  user  Victor1558   story?  
  • 10. “CapEve  Clientele”  thesis  I  could  eliminate  the  reference  to  the  Pentagon’s  prior  knowledge...    Several   financial   services   companies   or   their   agents   are   using  ques(onable   tac(cs   on   military   bases   to   sell   insurance   and  investments  that  may  not  fit  the  needs  of  people  in  uniform…  But  because   of   industry   lobbying,   Congressional   pressure,   weak  enforcement  and  the  Pentagon’s  ineffec(ve  oversight,  almost  no  ac(on  has  been  taken.  
  • 11. “CapEve  Clientele”  thesis  …Or  I  could  eliminate  any  reference  to  "investments"  …    Several   financial   services   companies   or   their   agents   are   using  ques(onable   tac(cs   on   military   bases   to   sell   insurance…   that  may   not   fit   the   needs   of   people   in   uniform…   But   because   of  industry   lobbying,   Congressional   pressure,   weak   enforcement  and   the   Pentagon’s   ineffec(ve   oversight,   almost   no   ac(on   has  been  taken.  
  • 12. “CapEve  Clientele”  thesis  …Or  I  could  cut  the  reasons  “why  almost  no   ac(on  has  been  taken”…    Several  financial  services  companies  or  their  agents  are  using  ques(onable  tac(cs  on  military  bases  to  sell  insurance  and  investments  that  may  not  fit  the  needs  of  people  in  uniform...  The  Pentagon  has  been  aware  of  prac(ces  like  these  since  the  Vietnam  War;  inves(ga(ons  have  even  cited  specific  companies  and  agents.  But  …  almost  no  ac(on  has  been    taken.  
  • 13. Remember,  it’s  a  balancing  act  The  length  of  a  story  is  determined  by  your  burden  of  proof.  To  cut  a  story’s  length,  you  must  scale  back  what  you  try  to  prove  in  that  story.    
  • 14. Diana’s  Rule  #2  You  cannot  cut  the  story;  you  can  only  reduce  your  burden  of  proof.  
  • 15. Diana’s  Rule  #3  If  you  use  every  inch  of  space  to  meet  your  burden  of  proof,  you’ll  win  your   argument.   But  youll  lose  your  reader!    
  • 16. How  “CapEve  Clientele”  began    Nicholas  Stachler  was  19  years  old  when  he  reported  for  basic  training  with  the  Army  at  Fort  Benning,  Ga.,  before  shipping  out  for  11  months  to  Iraq.      A  gentle,  trus(ng  man,  he  had  only  weeks  earlier  graduated  from  high  school   with   a   handful   of   trophies   in   hockey   and   soccer,   middling   grades   and  hardly  a  clue  about  how  to  handle  his  money.  He  had  held  only  casual  jobs  baby-­‐si^ng   and   mowing   lawns   and   had   never   opened   a   checking   account.   The   bus  trip  to  boot  camp,  from  the  foothills  of  the  Appalachians  in  southern  Ohio  to  the  kudzu-­‐covered   fields   of   western   Georgia,   took   him   farther   from   home   than   he  had  ever  been.       About   six   weeks   into   his   training   -­‐-­‐   six   weeks   of   combat   drills   and  drummed-­‐in   lessons   in   Army   ways   -­‐-­‐   he   tasted   one   of   the   less-­‐honorable  tradi(ons   of   military   life:   a   compulsory   classroom   briefing   on   personal   finance  that  was  a  life  insurance  sales  pitch  in  disguise...    
  • 17. How  did  you  feel  about     Nicholas  Stachler?  Let’s  compare  notes:  In  a  word  or  two,  share  your  impressions  of  this  young  recruit.   Nicholas is on the left.
  • 18. ReporEng  for  great  storytelling   Photo  by  Flickr  user  sskennel  
  • 19. Let’s  brainstorm   In  one  or  two   words,  what  facts   best  help  bring  a   character  to  life?                  Photo  by  Flickr  user  lateda  
  • 20. Report  with  all  five  senses    
  • 21. How  did  it  make  you  feel?  Why?  
  • 22.  To  reconstruct  the  past,...                                Photo  by  Flickr  user  Laineys  Repertoire   …try  the  Internet!  
  • 23. Was  it  rainy?  Torrid?  Balmy?     hcp://www.wunderground.com/history/  
  • 24. Which  gives  us...        Photo  by  Flickr  user  eoringel   “The  day  Bernie  Madoff  was  arrested  in  Manhacan,  the  weather  was  perfect  in  Palm  Beach  -­‐-­‐  ground  zero  for  thousands  of  his  vic(ms...”  
  • 25. What  do  they  look  like?   What  were  they  wearing?  U.S.  District  Judge  Jed  S.  Rakoff  hcp://images.google.com/    
  • 26. How  do  they  sound  and  behave?   “Yeah,  It’s  Fun  Being  a  Billionaire”  -­‐-­‐  interview  on   CNBC  found  on  YouTube.com  
  • 27. And  what  did  it  look  like  where   that  arrest  took  place?   www.earth.google.com  
  • 28. Gathering  color  a^er  the  fact  •  Tour  the  scenes  yourself.  •  Ask  for  family  albums,   yearbooks,  home  video,   conven(on  photos,  etc.  •  Talk  to  those  who  were   there  –  using    photos  and   headlines  as  memory   “prompts.”   Photo  by  Flickr  user  Arbron  •  Retrace  a  character’s   steps.  
  • 29. Using  human  nature  to  hold   your  reader     Photo  by  Flickr  user  Saul  Adereth  
  • 30. Poll  QuesEon  #2:  In  the  “Cap(ve  Clientele”  story,  who  is   Nicholas  Stachler?  
  • 31. Diana’s  Rule  #4   The  universal  truths  of  human  experience  are  the  bedrock  of  any   great  story.    
  • 32.  Use  archetypal  stories            What  other  archetypal  stories  can  you  name?      
  • 33. More  archetypal  stories  •  Icarus    •  Robin  Hood  •  King  Midas  •  Dr.  Jekyll  and  Mr.  Hyde   Photo  by  Flickr  user  puuikibeach  •  Dr.  Faustus  •  The  Emperor’s  New   •  Aladdin  and  the  Genie   Clothes   •  The  Frog  Prince  •  King  Lear   •  The  Ugly  Duckling  •  The  Sorcerer’s   •  The  Boy  Who  Cried  Wolf   Appren(ce   •  The  Pied  Piper  •  Snow  White   •  Beauty  and  the  Beast    
  • 34. Clichés  became  clichés  because…  • Pride  goeth  before  a  fall.  • He  was  hoisted  on  his  petard.  • The  pot  calling  the  kecle  black.  • His  Achilles’  heel.   Photo  by  Flickr  user  hello-­‐julie   …they  rang  true  and  sEll  do!  
  • 35. Folklore’s  cast  of  stock  characters…    The  star-­‐crossed  lovers  The  fatally  flawed  hero  The  femme  fatale  The  man  of  steel  The  knight  errant  The  evil  wizard   Photo  by  Flickr  user  Wonderlane  
  • 36. As  you  prepare  to  write,  ask:   In  our  common   cultural  heritage,   what’s  the  closest   archetypal  match  to   the  story  you  want   to  tell?   Photo  by  Flickr  user  Muffet  
  • 37. Once  you  have  your  answer…  •  Keep  it  as  a  frame  of  reference…  •  Use  it  to  sort  out  your  characters…  •  Iden(fy  the  core  words  it  brings  to  mind…  •  Use  it  to  give  your  story  a  familiar  shape…  •  But  proceed  with  cau(on  before  you  make  a   direct  reference  to  this  archetype!  
  • 38. Poll  QuesEon  #3:  The  Bernie  Madoff  story  most  strongly   brings  to  mind…  
  • 39. Poll  QuesEon  #4:   JP  Morgan  Chase  used  a  risk-­‐reducing  strategy  that  wound  up  cos(ng  the  bank  billions.  Which  archetypal  reference  does   that  story  bring  to  mind?  
  • 40. Learning  from  potboilers    and  the  silver  screen                                                          Photo  by  Silicon  Prairie  News  
  • 41. Diana’s  Rule  #5  To  learn  great  storytelling,  study   great  storytellers.  
  • 42. My  favorite  screenwriEng  guides  • By  Christopher  Vogler:   • By  Blake  Snyder:  The  Writer’s  Journey:   Save  the  Cat  series  Mythic  Structure  for    Writers,  Third  Edi(on   What  wri5ng  guides  do  you  love?  
  • 43. Six  QuesEons  to  Ask  Yourself  Before  You  Type  That  Anecdotal   Lead     resources   More  wri(ng   are  in  the  handout.  http://www.newsthinking.com/six-questions-to-ask-yourself-before-you-type-that-anecdotal-lead/
  • 44. My  favorite  pace  cars  for  storytelling  • Robert  Crais,  “Elvis  Cole”  series  • Lee  Child,  “Jack  Reacher”  novels  • Anything  by  Stephen  King   Photo  by  Flickr  user  msbhaven  
  • 45. Remember  Diana’s  Rules  1.  Use  all  the  facts  required  to  meet  your  burden  of   proof  -­‐  but  not  one  fact  more!    2.  You  cannot  cut  the  story;  you  can  only  reduce  your   burden  of  proof.    3.  If  you  use  every  inch  to  meet  your  burden  of  proof,   you’ll  win  your  argument.    But  youll  lose  your  reader!    4.  The    universal  truths  of  human  experience  are  the   bedrock  of  a  good  story.    5.  To  learn  great  storytelling,  study  great  storytellers.  

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