Präsentieren bedeutet, mit Menschen zu sprechen.

Tag: story

Remember V?

Kurt Vonneguts wunderbare Formeln für Geschichten muss man mindestens einmal im Jahr neu entdecken.

Schöne moderne grafische Interpretation hier: Wobei der Charme bei Vonnegut eben gerade auch das Kreidig-Verstaubte ist.

Eine weitere grafische Interpretation mit Beispielen für die verschiedenen Formeln bei TED-ed.com.

Related Post: Keynote, Linedraw

Women who stare at goats


(c) Katja Stelz

This is my current favorite logo. I love the straight lines, I love the minimalism. And I meet Katja Stelz at a designer trade fair in Hanover and she tells me about the difference between sheep and goat and paints me a picture in the air of how sheep hair is all swirls and whorls and how goat hair is all orderly and straight.

All I did was ask what animal the pillows are made from, for I couldn’t place the smell. This is how story telling works: hands in the air, answering questions nobody asked.


How to write a story a.k.a. how to plan a presentation


Image: Polly Dunbar, Ideas Everywhere © 2011

Ideas Everywhere by Polly Dunbar as featured on Bookstart is a great lesson in Story Telling 101: Where do ideas come from, how to create suspense, and more.

A good presentation is a good story. This is lovely stuff. (Which is why my teacher/editor me only very quietly mumbles: It should be whose, not who’s in the image above. How did this get past the editor? But then editing/correcting is a whole different story from writing.)

You may feel this particular story is not age appropriate for you. You are mature, grown up, a professional. Picture books are kids’ stuff.

Well, you’re in for a surprise. Age is a marketing thing. Great stories are beyond that.

You may want to read the author’s notes to find out more about what it takes to tell a story/give a presentation.

  • Ideas
  • Characters
  • Emotion
  • Location
  • Dilemma
  • Conflict
  • The MIDDLE
  • Resolution
  • The END

And let’s not forget about imagination

There is also a three-part interview with the author. Below is part three in which she talks us through illustrating tips, how to flesh out ideas and what to expect from the process of making a picture book.

Linklove: via Twitter/@storytellin

Lessons from Cranford

I was watching Cranford last night, a BBC costume drama based on Elizabeth Gaskell’s novels. I’m a sucker for BBC costume drama. Drama is where I come from; English novels of the 19th century were one of my major classes at college. I also took Science Fiction classes, and children’s literature. Great blend, really.

Anyway, to come back to what I was saying, there is this one scene in Cranford when Miss Matty, an elderly spinster talks to her niece Mary about Peter, the black sheep of the family, who caused quite a scandal and then disappeared.

As she is telling Mary Peter’s story, she turns off the light (or candles, rather). She finds it easier to talk about her lost brother in the dark. Some stories have more impact if there is nothing to distract us. The same goes for listening.

Have you ever closed your eyes while on the phone so that you could hear the other side better?

Visualization is story telling in the dark. We do not need slides with everything.

Snuff out the candles, now and then (or projector, rather). Words are available light.

Street Cred

[Strictly speaking, this is is no lesson in presenting, only if you want to make it one.]

Stories are a common good.

They hide in the grass, trembling with anticipation, waiting to be picked up, waiting to be made real. They lie on the pavement. They are the writing on the wall.

And today I have plans, I want to get out of Smallville, get some air, get out of these woods, but I almost step on a story in front of my house and so I change plans and directions and follow a small story from its ending, the way I usually do, for like a cat’s tail a story’s ending holds all the secrets ever told and look! how it twitches with excitement, for not even a story knows where it may take you, if you let it.

After a few hundred meters I lose sight, right in the middle of the beginning – or the ending: stories are real push-me-pull-yous – and I need to decide should I turn left or right, but I am such a slow decision maker these days, and so I choose the road less travelled by, as I have learnt by heart, but this story follows a different path.

I trust my luck, though, and bookmark the right? wrong? corner, and when I return a few hours later, my cam full of unexpected crow, the story is still there, dozing in the warm afternoon sun and I catch up with, just as I had hoped.

Stories are patient animals, and if you treat them right and don’t overfeed them, they are usually home before you.

And so it begins – or ends – with the most magic words of all:


You have gone too far.


It is not here.


The snail. A bridge.


Hello. You there.




You’re almost there.


Are you thirsty?


Drink me!


My birthday guests!


Mountain ahead.


Count the white squares.


And I count and recount and count again, but I can’t seem to get it right, and now my story is getting impatient after all and it loses itself, right before I can lose it again, and it fades into the amber of the woods, where nothing is ever forgotten, here in Smallville.