Cut to the Chase
What is the Cut to The Chase story tactic?
Oh no, you're losing your audience! Their mind's are wandering. Quick, get their attention hack on you.
"Thou shalt not be dull" is a golden rule of storytelling. You know when you're losing people: they start to look restless or uncomfortable. Let's be honest, it's annoying to listen to a boring story. So it's time to quit the back-story and cut to the chase: give us action, emotion or meaning.
Tips: this works with face-to-face storytelling. But it applies to online stories too. Assume we get bored easily. How can you tweak our attention throughout your story?
How to use the Cut to The Chase story tactic
Think of this tactic like an emergency escape plan. If your well-prepared story is going badly, bail out in one of these ways:
Cut to the action: anomaly + potential benefit
What do you keep noticing about a certain situation? What's new, unusual and potentially useful?
"So, basically, what happened was ... "
"Suddenly ... "
"The worst moment was ... "
Cut to the emotion: anomaly + potential threat
What makes you uneasy about a certain situation? What's new, unusual and potentially harmful?
"I was amazed ... shocked ... surprised .. ."
"I was so disappointed ... stressed ... "
"We were so relieved ... elated ... "
Cut to the meaning: when are you so absorbed in a task that time just flies? this is when you're practising your skills and learning something new. It's deeply satisfying.
"That's when I realised .. ."
"I'd always thought .. ."
"I'll never forget .. ."
Alternatively, stop talking and ask your audience a question.Turn the situation from a "story download" to a two-way exchange using Story-ish Conversations.