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The Art of Explanation: Making your Ideas, Products, and Services Easier to Understand by Lee LeFever

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Chapter 7

Story

UnFigure

It should come as no surprise that story is one of the essential elements of explanation. We are surrounded by stories, from TV shows to office gossip. We're innately drawn to them. Stories, however, often take a back seat in professional communications. Although storytelling isn't appropriate in every situation, I believe that storytelling, especially a specific kind of storytelling, represents an untapped resource when trying to make ideas easier to understand.

Before we dive in, let's look at how storytelling can change how we communicate facts, offering the audience an alternative way to learn. In the following you'll see two examples, each containing a few sentences about blogs, but in two very different formats:

A blog is a personal journal published on the World Wide Web consisting of discrete entries (“posts”) typically displayed in reverse chronological order so the most recent post appears first. Blogs are usually the work of a single individual, occasionally of a small group, and often are themed on a single subject.

—Wikipedia, 2012

and…

Meet Allison. She recently created a website where she posts information about her experiences raising a puppy. Her website is an online journal, or blog, where she posts a new entry that appears at the top of her page every few days. This stream of entries has enabled her to connect with dog lovers from around the world. ...

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