You can be three times more interesting just by using these three words.
You’ll be able to create a story out of any situation.
And you’ll capture the interest of your listener.
It’s the easiest storytelling structure I’ve come across. Everything else seems to build on this foundation.
How do you sound interesting?
Many people talk and talk and provide lots of details to the story but they lose the attention of their listeners. The topic is important to the speaker but they forgot that they need to capture the interest of their audience first. That’s why we try to end conversations. But if you simply remember these three words, you’ll instantly become three times more engaging as a storyteller.
In fact, it’s so easy that you’ve already seen the structure in the previous paragraph.
And if you’re wondering, “so what’s the technique?”, the structure has worked.
That’s what you want to do - help people want to hear more.
You can do this with the ABT storytelling structure which stands for “and”, “but” and “therefore”.
- “And” helps set up the background and give momentum to the story.
- “But” creates conflict, adding the tension any good story needs.
- And “therefore” gives the story a conclusion.
A young man meets a crazy scientist and travels to the past in a time machine and meets his future parents. But he accidently distracts his mother from noticing and falling in love with his father. Therefore, he is forced to bring them together or he will cease to exist.
If you’re wondering, that’s the storyline of Back to the Future.
Notice that whatever follows after “but” is what really makes the story good. It’s all about the tension.
This ABT structure was coined by Trey Parker, the co-creator of South Park. It’s also widely used in Hollywood. If this technique can lead to films that earn millions, it’s definitely worth testing out in our daily lives.
Go ahead and tell your child a story. Try it out on your friends. See if it makes a difference.