Speechless – Tell Stories that Change the World

Soundbite 04: Start a Story File

June 19, 2023 Maryam Pasha & Simon Bucknall Season 1 Episode 8
Soundbite 04: Start a Story File
Speechless – Tell Stories that Change the World
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Speechless – Tell Stories that Change the World
Soundbite 04: Start a Story File
Jun 19, 2023 Season 1 Episode 8
Maryam Pasha & Simon Bucknall

Life hack: start a Story File. Join Speechless co-hosts Maryam Pasha and Simon Bucknall to learn what a Story File is, how it can form the building blocks to great storytelling, and how you can start yours today.

Show Notes Transcript

Life hack: start a Story File. Join Speechless co-hosts Maryam Pasha and Simon Bucknall to learn what a Story File is, how it can form the building blocks to great storytelling, and how you can start yours today.

[00:00:00] Maryam Pasha: Welcome to Speechless Soundbites Practical Storytelling Tips In under five minutes. In this week's speechless soundbite, we share what a story file is and how you can start one right now. This one's for anyone whose mind goes totally blank when they are asked to come up with a personal experience or an anecdote or a story.

[00:00:18] Maryam Pasha: Hope you find it useful. If you are someone who wants to change the world, you need people to talk about your idea. You can't be the only one talking about it. It needs to catch on. Right. And [00:00:30] the way you get people to talk about your idea is to tell a story because then they can take that and they can repeat it.

[00:00:36] Maryam Pasha: Yeah. And that's, and that's the only way. That's gonna, that's really a powerful vehicle in my mind to get across what we want. 

[00:00:43] Simon Bucknall: Yeah. I immediately, I think that also raises a how to question Of course. Yes. Which is often an obstacle for people, which is Well, okay, I understand that. But, but either, uh, they'll say, say something like the, uh, the, the young girl that I'm.

[00:00:55] Simon Bucknall: Mentioned in, in the Telx talk for Telx London, that the young girl in the school that said, oh, I've got nothing to talk about. My [00:01:00] life's boring. Yeah. Or they said, well, I, I just dunno where to start. How do I actually start to do this? Because I, I, I, I can't really think of anything. Mine goes blank. Yeah.

[00:01:07] Simon Bucknall: There's often an obstacle. How do you actually start to source stuff if it's not immediately obvious to you? To which. The best piece of advice, at least from my experience over the years that I can offer, is to start a story file, which is a tip I first picked up from, from some of the world champs, um, back in public speaking years ago.

[00:01:24] Simon Bucknall: Start a story file where you can start to log stuff. And then here's the key as a start point is [00:01:30] simply to ask yourself, thinking about your career to date, or your childhood or university, if you went to college or to university or your teenage years or thinking about your friends or whatever, pick up a.

[00:01:41] Simon Bucknall: A, an aspect of your life and ask yourself what moments do I remember? Mm. And some of 'em were very obvious, right? I mean, I certainly being married, I can remember, uh, I can certainly remember my wedding day. I can remember the experience of being heckled in the first five seconds. I can remember how it felt, uh, saying the vows.

[00:01:57] Simon Bucknall: I was absolutely quaking give, delivering the [00:02:00] vows. Uh, my wife, who is, is, is not someone who likes to go out and speak in public. She was cool as a cucumber. I remember that. You know, that, that kind of. Peculiar role reverse in terms of confidence when it came to that moment in the ceremony. I remember, I remember my leaving drinks for my first job.

[00:02:15] Simon Bucknall: I remember my Oxford interview. There's all sorts of experiences in my, I remember the day when my dad drove me home from school and he said to me, and I was, I think 11 years old. Now 12, 13 years old, he said, Simon, remember this day? I said, why is that? He said, the entire East German government has just [00:02:30] resigned.

[00:02:30] Simon Bucknall: I said, oh, that sounds like a big deal. And sure enough, shortly after I saw the Berlin wall come down on my tv, it was the first truly historic. So there's certain there there'll be memories that will immediately pop up as being significant. And then over time, of course, less significant. Significance, seemingly trivial.

[00:02:45] Simon Bucknall: So, and I encourage you as a listener to this, if you're wanting to start the process of, of, of building some potential story material. Mm-hmm. Think you right. Pick an aspect of your life and ask yourself, what are the moments that I remember be, be specific. That's key. What moments? And at [00:03:00] first it might be, not much comes to mind.

[00:03:01] Simon Bucknall: Maybe have a chat with a friend of yours, but don't worry about whether you could use it or not, or whether you should use it or not. But at least you start to seed your. Archive if you like. Yeah. Your story file with, with moments and over time if you keep that habit of thinking, right. What else do I remember?

[00:03:17] Simon Bucknall: What else? Then you start to build a library of content, which you can then pick and choose from. Mm. For potential story. But mo picking moments, that's the 

[00:03:26] Maryam Pasha: key. I love that so much. You know, the idea of like doing that [00:03:30] reflective exercise for me, I. Because I, I have heard this advice from Simon before and I think it's gold, so I do it too.

[00:03:37] Maryam Pasha: Um, but for me, I think I also do, because I'm asked to speak sometimes and is I note down stories I hear that I find really memorable, that I think have good like lessons or meanings. So like one that comes to mind immediately and it's because the name is so memorable is. Sometime in like the nineties, Kodak hired a consultant to write about the future of [00:04:00] photography.

[00:04:01] Maryam Pasha: Her name was Popcorn, like something popcorn, miss Popcorn or whatever. That's why I remember it. And she went off and she wrote this like brief, this report on the future of digital photography. And they came and they immediately fired her. Cuz they were like, we asked you to write a brief on the future of photography.

[00:04:18] Simon Bucknall: She didn't give 'em what they wanted 

[00:04:19] Maryam Pasha: to hear, I assume. Right? Right. Exactly. And she had, and now we know that Kodak didn't get on the bandwagon, didn't, you know, uh uh, it didn't survive the digitizing rep [00:04:30] revolution that happened in photography. This idea that like, you know, For me, it's, it has, so you could pull so many meanings from that story, but I, I did not come up with that story.

[00:04:40] Maryam Pasha: I did not research and find that story. Someone told me that story and I immediately filed 

[00:04:44] Simon Bucknall: it. And it made an impact on you. Exactly. And therefore you will be able to communicate it with impact to other 

[00:04:49] Maryam Pasha: people. Exactly. Actually share it. Exactly. Yeah. And so that kind of, you know, it's what we said before about if you wanna get better at this, it's purposeful.

[00:04:56] Maryam Pasha: It's a journey, it's a skill. There are these little things you can do, [00:05:00] like study aids to keep you going. And I, and I, and I love that. I think that's so brilliant and hopefully, I hope that as people listen to this podcast and you and me, they do consider themselves storytellers more and more. 

[00:05:13] Simon Bucknall: So here's how you can start your story file and actually put it to use first.

[00:05:17] Simon Bucknall: Pick an aspect of your life, a time in your life, and, and think about some of the key moments from that time. Jot them down, file them. Don't worry too much if they're helpful or not yet. Just get 'em down. Second, build your [00:05:30] file by adding moments and stories as they crop up in everyday life. Thirdly, dip in and out of your story file from time to time.

[00:05:37] Simon Bucknall: Have a look at stories that you might use in your everyday conversations. Anecdotes are a great way to communicate your ideas simply and 

[00:05:44] Maryam Pasha: memorably. Thanks for listening to this speechless soundbite. Until next time, speak less, say more.