Episode 3: The Frowning User

Episode 3: The Frowning User

This is an episode from Storyteller Tactics' Kickstarter launch campaign. I wrote it with Abstraction and Story-ish Conversations.

👉 See previous episodes.

👉 See the tactic cards released so far

Twenty minutes into the second remote test...

Ellie is guiding Aziz, a regular investor, through a beta chatbot. Cassie is watching, scribbling notes. 

Look at Aziz’s face. He’s saying “right… yeah… I see”, but he’s not stopped frowning for the last ten minutes. His eyeline is all over the place, like he’s looking for a way out. He’s leaning back, not forward. He doesn’t look comfortable. 

“So how did you find the new chat bot?” Ellie asks.

“Oh, yeah… it’s uh, yeah...” says Aziz.

“Marks out of ten?”

“Oh, yeah… um, eight I think.”

“Can I chip in?” Cassie says, acting on a hunch. “Maybe I’m being a bit dense here, but do you reckon you could still manage your portfolio without the new chatbot?”

“Yes, definitely,” Aziz shoots back. “No problem.” And for the first time, he stops frowning.

Hmmm. That’s interesting.

This week’s Storyteller Tactics


We know much, much more than we can say.
Wisdom is embodied and acted out before it’s ever expressed in neat soundbites. This is why stories are such a rich medium: they’re always about people doing stuff as well as saying stuff. The frown on Aziz's face tells you much more than the words coming out of his mouth.

See the Abstraction tactic ➔


Story-ish Conversations

This is one I learned early on in my career as a journalist.
People like to look smart. They like to be helpful. So they tell you what they think you want to hear. And if they're not really sure what they think, they'll make something up, rather than admit to being confused. Stories help you get round this tendency. Try the Story-ish Conversations tactic to tease out the emotions that lie behind what someone thinks, says and does.

Next episode: Cassie’s choice: Landscape Gardener or Cowboy Builder?

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