We can’t help ourselves. We, meaning humans, want to know the story. Given isolated facts, we will construct a narrative to support those facts so they make sense to us.
Unfortunately, scientists often present information as a pile of facts rather than a coherent narrative. Randy Olson, scientist-turned-filmmaker (that well-trod career pathway), has developed some basic templates for scientists to turn their piles of facts into coherent, memorable narratives.
The session provided a wonderful education about his ABT model, with some introduction to the WSP format (word-sentence-paragraph) discussed more fully in the book (and available on an accompanying app). He did get some volunteers to perform improv exercises for the group, but I really wish we could have seen more of that and how it contributes to our abilities. That’s the part of the book that’s hardest to see. It’s something that needs to be shown, not told!
Here are the tweets from the session; I encourage you to get the book and learn more about these tools. They really do help focus your message.