Wednesday, 29 August 2012


Editors Note: I am thrilled to welcome our new friend and social media monster Mr Declan Hill.  He has kindly agreed to create the following blog post.  This will be the first of many as we fight each other for supremacy in the blogosphere.  The stakes are high (readership mainly – the winner being rewarded with a chocolate eclairs).

Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I give you….(fanfare)…Declan Hill.

Being new to the markets that Twist and Shout currently specialise in – Information Security and Internal Communications – I’ve learnt a lot of new words and phrases recently. Well, learnt is a bit strong, I’ve come across them a number of times and I’m starting to realise what they mean:

People like using techy jargon because it makes them look bigger than they are.
It’s like British people putting ‘etc’ at the end of a list because they can’t think of any more examples or dentists putting letters after their name to prove that they didn’t fail first year medical exams and decided to ‘specialise’ in dentistry. Oh, and that list of qualifications includes 200m breaststroke, cycling proficiency and cabbage patch doll adoption papers. Etc, etc, etc.

I’ve checked out a number of prospective clients and have noticed another thing – if a company can use graphics or animation to show how good they are then they will.  For no reason whatsoever. Maybe it looks pretty. Is it memorable? No, it’s a bunch of words with a bunch of graphics. I’m ignoring both at the same time and concentrating on why you’ve chosen this oh-so-flashy-but-in-the-end-empty-and-meaningless way of presenting things.
On my virtual travels, I came across this interesting interview with Samantha Starmer of REI (Recreational Equipment Inc, which does exactly what it says on the tin, provides equipment for recreation). In it, Ms Starmer professes the benefits of storytelling over bullet-point presentations.

It’s interesting, mainly because the article tends to look upon storytelling in presentation as something new, groundbreaking or that great corporate buzzword ‘innovative’. Surely not?
Can you imagine one of the 12 disciples going up to Jesus and telling him his parables would be so much better in bullet-point form, or wondering whether He’d considered PowerPoint? He didn’t need anything flashy, the stories did the business and they’re being retold every week from pulpits across the globe. I bet you can tell me the parable of the prodigal son or the good Samaritan. I bet you can’t recount the bullet points of the Sermon on the Mount.


● Stories make things memorable. 

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