“SAY WHAT YOU’RE GOING TO SAY. SAY IT. SAY WHAT YOU JUST SAID.”
I heard this before I was interviewed for an event I was hosting by someone in the music industry. Ever since this saying stuck with me.
It stuck with me because it applies to the way we articulate stories, the way we write, and the way we understand each other’s point of view.
What does it mean? Who does it apply to? Why is this so powerful?
People love stories. They tell us about the person telling the story. A story is a tool that taps into our imagination. There is an art to telling stories, and communicating effectively.
After we hear something we tend to forget it. Why? Because it may not matter to us that much. Maybe our attention was someone where else? Or maybe it’s because we didn’t have the capacity to remember what was being said.
According to an article on aps, the association for psychological science, we experience something that is called “attribute amnesia”, that memory is far more selective. It is when we don’t expect to remember those things that we tend to forget them.
I was volunteering at fundraising charity event for LAPS, a local animal protection society, and there was a magician at the event. I asked him to perform his best magic stunt, and he said he didn’t have the props for it.
As he was showing me his phone, there was a wobbling business card on the screen and then what amazed me was that he handed me a card that seemed to come out of his screen.
I was amazed because I didn’t expect it. I remembered this because, yes, it happened a few hours ago and now I am writing about it, but also because it was an unusual occurrence. How does this relate to attribute amnesia?
Brad Wyble a post doctorate of psychology explains that memory is selective. Just because we pay attention to something doesn’t mean will remember it, paying attention to intention matters most.
It goes to everything we do in life. We read books, listen to music, walk down the road, drive, play, anything we do we will forget unless there is an intention to pay attention to what you’re doing.
Think about it right now; how many glasses of water did you have today? Or how many females/males did you pass on your way to work or school?
There was no intention for you to comprehend this data, therefore it goes into oblivion.
Now that you understand how attention and memory work, let’s get back into how we tell stories that matter.
SAY WHAT YOU’RE GOING TO SAY.
“THE BEGINNING IS THE MOST IMPORTANT PART OF THE WORK.” PLATO