Set the S.C.E.N.E. With Stories – The Better Newsletter #27


A client preparing a presentation told me, “I know it’s important to share stories, but I don’t have any.”

I told her, “We ALL have stories. Stories are simply the intriguing things that happen to or around us that we can make relevant to our topic or purpose.”

She came back with, “But I wouldn’t know how to tell a story even if I had one.”

I told her, “The good news is, story-telling is a skill and anyone can learn it.”

Many people aren’t taught HOW to tell stories. They try to tell a story of something that happened a long time ago (or to someone else) and it flops because it’s not relevant to the audience. 

The good news is, my 5 step approach below helps you relive a real-life event so it’s relevant and helps your content come alive. 

Why is this important? 

Because relevant, well-told stories create commonality which is how we connect. And isn’t that the point of all communication? To connect, always to connect.


  • Tell stories that connect by putting people in the S.C.E.N.E. with my 5-step process:
    • S = SENSORY DETAIL:  Start with WHERE to put us THERE. What did it look like? Smell like? Feel like? Sound like?
    • C = CHARACTERS:  WHO is there? Describe the individual(s) involved. Are they sad, mad? Happy, excited?
    • E = EXPERIENCE IT:  Re-experience it – as if for the first time, then re-enact it in the present tense as if it’s happening NOW. You will feel what you felt then – and so will we.
    • N =NARRATIVE: If a story doesn’t have dialogue, it’s not a story. What’s being said and by whom. When you re-enact the conversation with comma/quotes  we feel we’re right in the middle of the conversation.
    • E = EPIPHANY: What is the lesson-learned, happy ending, problem solved, the shift, the aha where everything comes together and suddenly makes sense? 

Until next time… Here’s to being better.

Sam Horn

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  • Want to Share Your Story/Suggestion With Sam Horn?

    Do you have a real-life example you'd like to share of how you deal with difficult people - without becoming one yourself? A story of how you've learned to think on your feet and handle challenging situations in the moment? I'd love to hear it, along with any other sensitive, stressful situations you suggest I include in my work on Talking on Eggshells? With your permission, we may share it with readers and audiences so they can benefit from your insights and lessons-learned.
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