a boss at a desk firing you

Simple Story Tip #5: Rich detail makes people remember

Do you fear that people forget your pitch or speech, or other important thing soon after you deliver it?

They probably do.

You do, right? Quick: What were the key points of the last presentation you sat through? If you had to explain it to someone else, could you?

I’m guessing you don’t remember much of anything.

Don’t let that happen to you!

There’s this one simple thing that pro writers know.

Detail. Detail. Detail.

Share some rich, telling detail to go along with your presentation.

It can be small: “As he was firing me, I kept starting at this dying plant he had on his windowsill. Does he just never wash that thing? It had one green leaf drooping low above a bunch of dead ones in the dirt.”

Or big: “I was driving as fast as I could, down the airport road towards the center of Baghdad. Ahead, a tank’s turret started to turn towards me. I saw four or so soldiers kneel behind a berm, their assault weapons raised.” (That’s a real thing that happened to me in 2003!)

The point is to give something vivid and memorable so that …. your audience remembers the stuff you told them.

You can try this right now.

Wherever you are: look around. What’s something interesting that you could describe if you were describing this moment? Ideally, the thing you describe captures the feel of the narrative–happy or sad or hopeful or desperate. But that’s not necessary. Anything that’s even a tiny bit vivid will work wonders. Try it!

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