What’s It About?

What’s It About

What is the What’s It About story tactic?

Me: "So what are you working on?"
You: "Umm ... well ... er ... " Don't be that person.

How can it be so hard to answer this simple question? Sometimes you're so absorbed in your idea, you don't know where to start explaining it to someone new. It's called "the curse of knowledge" and some experts get it really bad. But don't worry, you escape the curse with a well-told story.

If you're starting out on storytelling, use this card first along with Audience Profile.

How to use the What’s It About story tactic

When you need an elevator pitch or a short summary of your work for an email, CV or online profile, try any of these approaches:


We don't pay attention to things that stay the same.
We notice change. Are you:

  • Responding to an external change/threat
  • Initiating a change/opportunity

Go deeper with The Dragon & the City.

New information

We are knowledge seekers, alert to new things in case they benefit or harm us. Tell us:

  • You've realised something new
  • You've spotted something isn't right

Go deeper with Curious Tales.

Personal benefit

No matter how abstract or technical your work is, somewhere down the line there's a person in the real world who benefits.

  • "Ultimately I'm trying to help [X] achieve [Y]"
  • "This is part of the wider problem I'm solving for you.

Go deeper with Audience Profile.

Now you know you can get to the point, try Story Hooks to make your story more intriguing.

You might like these Storyteller Tactics

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What’s It About? is one of 54 storytelling recipe cards inside the Storyteller Tactics card deck.

Ditch dull presentations and tell great stories that influence and inspire your team, stakeholders and customers.

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