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Now displaying: November, 2017
Nov 29, 2017

Find the Red Thread at TamsenWebster.com.

We all have jargon that’s useful in our industry or company, but we also need to make sure that our message is clear. A clear message means there’s a clear meaning, and a clear meaning is what inspires action, so that means we want to make sure that the words that we use to make that message are clear. This is where we run into trouble with jargon because it has a lot of meaning already attached for some of your audience, a different meaning for another group, and no meaning for others.

To reverse-engineer meaning, we need to look for the shared Problems and Ideas of our audience, so that we can find shared Change. Ultimately, we do need to use jargon in some of our messages, but if you ask yourself what a word actually means in your message and lead with that first, you can attach the jargon term to it later and keep everyone on the same page. That’s how you make sure people understand not only what you’re saying, but what you’re meaning as well.

Nov 22, 2017

Find the Red Thread at TamsenWebster.com.

One the biggest problems that businesses run into when they try to do business storytelling is that they mistake stories for storytelling. However, if we understand story from the right perspective, we have everything we need to turn anything we have to say into something that feels like a story even if it isn’t one.

The traditional story structure has three acts: a setup, a middle section or build that introduces conflict, and a resolution or payoff or conclusion. The key is to pay attention to how each act begins and ends.

Nov 15, 2017

Find the Red Thread at tamsenwebster.com.

The concept of deus ex machina is a great way to tie up the loose ends of a story, but it’s not such a great way to end a talk. Our audience wants to be engaged in our message the entire way through. In fact, they like to do some work, to be an amateur detective and see if they can guess where something is going. This is why structuring your message around the Red Thread works because it helps you make sure that you’re giving your audience the information they need to get to their own version of your conclusion.

Nov 8, 2017

Find the Red Thread at TamsenWebster.com.

If you’re trying to figure out what your Red Thread is all about, start with what you can do better than anyone else. For many people, figuring out what’s going to be powerful for them is easier said than done. Power is energy sustained over time. So, where does our energy come from? And how do we find a way to keep using it regardless of the situation?

There are three basic concepts surrounding energy that can help you clarify things. First of all, there are certain activities that are net energy negative: they drain our energy when we do them, probably because we’re not that great at them. There are other things that are net energy neutral: you might be pretty good at them, but you don’t necessarily feel one way or the other about them after you do them.

What you really need to pay attention to, though, are the net energy positive things that give you energy when you do them. What are those problems that you just can’t stand to see? What ideas get you excited? Energy is a signal of the potential power behind something. Pay attention to where you feel energy coming back to you, and you’ll have the key to unlocking the powerful pieces of your personal Red Thread.

Nov 1, 2017

Find the Red Thread at TamsenWebster.com.

When you’re putting together a large message, like an article, book, or talk, part of the challenge is figuring out what to put in between the pieces of your Red Thread. If you’re putting that much effort into a message, what you’re trying to do is get someone to move mentally from one side of something to another. That’s why thinking of your message in terms of trains, stations, and tracks can be useful.

So, using our metaphor, the pieces of the Red Thread are our stations, and the audience is the train, but if there isn’t any track they won’t be getting anywhere soon. The question to ask before each station is: what does someone have to understand and agree with before they’ll go with me there? For each piece of the Red Thread, you can use the previous piece to set them up for what’s coming next, like going deeper into the Problem to explain why the Idea is so important.

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