Put a Sock in It, Julie!
Who hasn’t heard Julie Andrews sing it?
Let’s start at the very beginning, a very good place to start.
When you read you begin with ABC, When you sing you begin with do-re-me.–the character, Maria, sung by Julie Andrews in
The Sound of Music by Rodgers and Hammerstein
Put a sock in it, Julie.
Starting in the beginning might work well when you know the story, but when you’re first forming your ideas it can really screw you up. By the time you figure out that clever beginning you might forget the what the story was going to be about. After all, when planning a special occasion, it’s not usually the best idea to start with what you’ll say on the invitation … we have to know what the gathering will be about.
Turn off, Julie Andrews and the tape recordings in your head that tell you what you’re supposed to do. They just get in the way. Unique problems require unique solutions.
Beginnings Have a Part to Play in Setting Up Your Conversation
Who cares about how the fire began if you need to get out of the building NOW? Get the facts and worry about how it started later.
When you’re creating something new, problem solving, or envisioning what could be, information is nebulous and coming from many directions. The challenge is to order it and give form–not to find the beginning. Here are some tips on how to get your idea going before the blank screen and the beginning knock you down.
- Write your idea as a compelling question you want to answer. Then write the answer as – bullet points.
- Describe an action that you’re looking to make happen.
- Write the list of important points that you want to share.
- Outline the steps of the how-to.
- Lay out the key point of the product review.
If you do one of those first, you’ll know what it is that you want to say.
Then, you can consider one of two things key to context:
- Connecting to prior knowledge: What will most of your audience already know about what you’re going to tell them? How can you connect that to what you’re adding to the conversation? That connection is the place to start.
- Building background: It might be a fair assessment that most of your audience won’t have experience with what you’re about to tell them. What information or analogy will give them a setting in which to place your conversation? Make that setting the beginning.
Now the beginning is an integral part to play in setting up your most important statements.
Do you ever start in the middle when you’re preparing a report, a blog post, or a presentation?
–ME “Liz” Strauss
Work with Liz on your business!!
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