Monday, March 8, 2010

Telling Stories

Last Wednesday, I had the great opportunity to go back to a place very close to my heart and hear an accomplished actor give an impassioned speech about the power of language.

At the St. Albans Centennial Alumni Meeting, Jeffrey Wright (Class of 1983) talked about his experience on the “archeological dig through the writer’s words” that is acting – the deep dive needed to “breathe life into a character.” You may know Mr. Wright most recently from his work in the revitalized James Bond films, but he has also won praise for his stage and TV career, notably in “Angels in America.”

His discussion of a love of language sparked by his grandparents’ storytelling in coastal Virginia and nurtured by the great faculty at St. Albans reminded me of my own path into writing and communications and the challenge of staying relevant in an ever-faster, more competitive media environment.

So, today I’m rededicating myself to the following:

  • Listening more – there are compelling stories all around, if we bother to pay attention to them
  • Telling those stories in a way that will touch editors and reporters (and the audiences for whom they write)
  • Writing in clear, plain English, no matter how complex the topic may be

Whether the media channel is print, TV or online, these three simple yet challenging disciplines remain at the core of effective communications.

- Potomac Communications Group

1 comment:

  1. I was there that night as well ... Jeffrey masterfully wove the fascinating threads of his life into a spellbinding tale.