Effective storytelling, a talk by Vincent Wong

Most people go after secure jobs with big companies, but for Vincent Wong, the exact opposite is true.

He did a sharing at Good Lab last night about storytelling and his journey so far as a social entrepreneur. It was a fantastic talk, everybody was mesmerized.

This was actually part of our monthly Good Time series hosted by different directors of Good Lab. It was for Good Lab members only, and we listened to each other’s story over food and drinks.

Vincent used to be a radio host before he quit the job and started a company that focus on solution journalism. He talked about how smartphones really take everybody’s attention away, and why it is important for every public speaker to utter the words in a clear and crisp manner, with no more than four syllables per second. With this as the foundation, one could also build in some twists in the story to arouse the audience’s attention.

But what really matters is that it takes a theme to make a story shine.

In 2008, Vincent was sent to the US to cover the presidential election. He attended the talk given by Barack Obama before the election day. And it was then and there that Vincent got an epiphany of how storytelling should really be like.

There was over 90,000 people listening to Obama’s talk. He talked about his very first day in the election campaign. Together with his wife, they went to an elderly’s house in Virginia. An old woman hit him in the back and said, “Fire up, young man.” She did the same to him when he left. Feeling a bit down, he left the house. On their way home, Michelle Obama said to him, “We shall fire up.” This inspired Obama a lot and they continued with the campaign. At the last day of the campaign, Obama talked to the audience and said, one person can influence a house, one house could influence a city, one city could influence a state, one state could influence a country, and one country could change the world.

“Your vote matters. Every vote matters. Let’s fire up." with that, Obama ended his speech. and this completely changed Vincent’s take on storytelling.

“He’s got a good theme, which is about change." said Vincent. “I have my own theme, which is about the mass." Having something like a theme could really help put the structure together, and it inspires people.

So what is your theme for your next story? or for your life?

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