Last Tuesday, I watched the season premiere of my favorite television show, NCIS. The executive producer, Donald Bellisario used a time honored and very effective method for telling the story.
The story starts out with one of the protagonists, Tony DiNozzo in a jail cell. We have no idea how he was captured or ended up there. During the course of the program, the back story is related so we can catch up. With about 10 minutes to go, we get to “current” and then watch the climax and conclusion unfold. Of course, the good guys prevail, the damsel is saved, and all is good in the world. Even though we guessed this might happen, the curiosity was killing us!
You may recall a similar strategy on the big screen a decade ago with Forrest Gump. That picture didn’t turn out to badly, either.
Here’s the good news if you are a speaker. This is an excellent technique for telling stories. Find a place in your story that you can begin from that will need back fill later. You will capture the curiosity of your audience, and they will be engaged in your story as you get them to “current.” Here is an example…
“There I was, sitting in a puddle of mud next to the train station while the rain pelted me. I couldn’t believe how my journey unfolded and led me here. Just three days ago…”
You get the point. Put your character into a situation that your audience MUST hear. It’s effective on television, the movies, and your speech.