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December 2011 Newsletter



Christmas - Tis the Season to Collect Compelling Content for your Stories!


As a speaker, you know that well-crafted stories with a life-changing message are necessary for effective presentations.


If you take note of the people in your family, your friends and your colleagues during the busy holiday gatherings, you will be able to capture a collection of individuals’ stories, compile a catalogue of life lessons and as a result, be regarded as a highly content rich, entertaining speaker, especially if the stories are humorous!


Let’s examine the Skeletal Story Structure which includes 5 of Craig Valentine’s 9 C Step Formula from his ‘Edge of their Seats Storytelling Home-Study Course.’

Click here:

The 5 C’s of the Skeletal Story Structure

So often speakers think they have a good story to tell but they really don’t as they’re missing crucial elements of a story. The quickest and easiest way to decide early on whether or not you have a story that is worth developing is to use the Skeletal Story Structure which involves 5 C’s: Characters, Conflict, Cure, Change, and Carryout Message. If you can write 1 sentence for each of these C’s, then you are in a great place to develop your story; if you cannot do so, then avoid working on it until each C has a fitting sentence.

In This Issue


Quotations of the Month

"We want a story that begins
with an earthquake and
works its way to a climax."
~ Samuel Goldwyn

“The holidays mean a lot
of family time. This is a
perfect opportunity to fill
your notebooks with killer
comedy material."
~ Judy Carter, author, comedienne


Characters breathe life into your stories.

Introduce them and place them in common situations with universally experienced emotions. Let them be seen, known and heard... for more detail on how to do this, check out ANIMATION in a past newsletter by clicking here.

Conflict is the hook of the story; without an obstacle, challenge or problem there can be no rising action which is necessary for the audience’s building curiosity and interest. Throw the character(s) into a conflict early and intensify the heat to keep the audience intrigued and interested in the eventual outcome. Don’t let the audience off the hook too soon; have them wait so they will be anxious to hear the outcome.

Cure is the resolution to the conflict, formerly known as the climax. Don’t make yourself special, but similar to your audience…same frustrations, problems, challenges…Tell the audience the process that was learned: the HOW- from whom (friend, relative, partner...) from what (a book, a movie…).

Change refers to the change in the character after the Cure. Audience’s internal questions need to be answered. They must hear the change that occurred in the character, the positive results, the benefits received from the cure experienced.

Carryout message is the reason for telling the story. Be creative in your choice of message wording. Doug Stevenson calls this: The Phrase the Pays! Craig Valentine refers to it as the Foundational Phrase- is it fewer than 10 words, is it YOU-focused, is it rhythmic (memorable)? as in: “If you can see it, you can be it, Walk your Talk, Your Attitude determines your Altitude, Make Memorable McDonald Moments…” Literally, step out of your story’s location, alter your tone, pace and volume of voice, so it is clear to the audience that this is the life-changing message from the story. Transfer the message to them: “How about you…? In your life, what change…”

Common Errors Made


  • making characters not relatable to the target audience
  • describing characters in too much detail and not giving the audience the opportunity to connect the dots in their minds and see them as they wish to see them
  • giving yourself the best or funniest lines
  • too much narration making story sounding like a report
  • too much dialogue making story sound like a play


  • not intensifying the conflict or intensifying it too quickly; in both instances leaving the audience devoid of curiosity and interest of the outcome


  • making yourself the hero of the story


  • often not explained / missed

Carry-Out Message:

  • not clear, concise, doesn’t stand out from story

Magnify Your Magnificence E-Book

"Speeches That Will
Leave Them Speechless"

Soon Available as an E-Book!

I am happy to announce that the eBook version of my book will be available to purchase from my site by next month!

Stay tuned!


Have a healthy and happy holiday season and best wishes for the new year!

Join me next month when we discuss the letter D as it relates to another storytelling skill!

Until then, Happy Speaking!!


© 2011 All rights reserved.


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