Steph Troeth: Everyday Storytelling [Feb 2014]


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John LeCarre famously said, “‘The cat sat on the mat’ is not the beginning of a story; ‘the cat sat on the dog’s mat’ is.” We need very little introduction to the art of storytelling, but the craft of story is more nuanced and is a skill we can hone. Unless you’re already fully-engaged in storytelling in one form or another, it’s rare that we get to explore these nuances in practice. Come and have some fun with Steph in this interactive session as she demonstrates little ways we can get better at the craft of story—a universal skill that you can use in everything you do.

This talk covers some of the material from her forthcoming book: UX Storytelling Handbook.

Published in: Design, Education, Technology
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Steph Troeth: Everyday Storytelling [Feb 2014]

  1. 1. Stephanie Troeth @sniffles Code & Creativity Chattanooga, Tennessee February 2014 Everyday Storytelling
  2. 2. OMG Storytelling FTW!
  3. 3. Such story. Very telling. Wow.
  4. 4. Born here Lived here Living here Grew up here So, about this accent…
  5. 5. Last spring, I was in Avignon for a conference.
  6. 6.
  7. 7. “Stories are like flight simulators for the brain.” ! — “Made to Stick”, Chip & Dan Heath.
  8. 8. Anecdotal version: ! “The airbnb apartment I am staying in had a leak in the kitchen sink.” Boring! Fact!
  9. 9. I wasn’t always a good storyteller. ! I had to learn it.
  10. 10. The shape of stories
  11. 11. Classic three-act structure
  12. 12. Act 1: Setting it up. What is the context? Who is the main protagonist? What does he or she desire? ! (Who, what, why, how, where)
  13. 13. Don’t bury the lead.
  14. 14. Act 2: Conflict & Obstacles Crisis and escalating tension. Things get worse!
  15. 15. “Drama comes from human decision.” ! — M.R. Hall
  16. 16. Act 3: Finale Things get as bad as it can go. ! When the story finally resolves, tension dissipates. ! Leave your audience in a safe place.
  17. 17. Design for clarity through storytelling
  18. 18. Three working examples so far: ✤ storytelling in UX design ✤ storytelling to get a practical method across ✤ storytelling in a presentation
  19. 19. Possibility ∞
  20. 20. Let’s try it.
  21. 21. Three acts: Beginning, middle and end. Setting it up finale obstacles
  22. 22. What’s driving the story? Plot, character, or question? circumstance issue person
  23. 23. Exercise #1: Tell your favourite fairy tale or fable. Thinking time: 1 min Story time: 3 mins (each) Review time: 1 min (each)
  24. 24. Make your character(s) real. What do they want? How do they react to something? What to do they see, smell, feel, hear, touch and think?
  25. 25. Exercise #2: Tell your favourite joke. Thinking time: 2 min Story time: 2 mins (each) Review time: 1 min (each)
  26. 26. Each sentence needs to either move story forward and show more of your character. Pay attention to rhythm and pace.
  27. 27. Exercise #3: Tell a story about something that happened to you. Thinking time: 1 min Story time: 5 mins (each) Review time: 1 min (each)
  28. 28. Pay attention to describing feelings, and reactions.
  29. 29. Thank you!
  30. 30. ! Stephanie Troeth @sniffles A book on how you can use story techniques creatively in UX research & design Coming Soon!