There are many things to learn from great movies, TV shows, and books – all excellent examples of storytelling. And one of the simplest lessons came from the very first Star Wars movie (and continues today): the FIRST LINE sets the stage…
“A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away.”
Bam! In ONE line, you’ve justified everything that follows. And of course, each movie in the franchise then has the “crawl” that explains what’s happening at the precise time of that episode.
But way too often in radio we hear the opposite. Longish setups, too many details, sometimes longwinded explanations of who people are (“my sister’s first college roommate, Christie, who used to date my best friend before that…”). UGH. And anyone who has to say “First, let me give you some background…” deserves your tuning out immediately. That’s like a large sign that says ‘BORING.’
Remember, people bought a ticket to see the Star Wars movie. They didn’t buy a ticket to hear you.
So you OWE the listener a concise, relatable beginning. “That old Barnes & Noble building has been bought…” tells me the bookstore that closed a year ago isn’t going to be abandoned anymore. Maybe I’ll check it out, after you tell me a little bit more about what it’s going to be. But you got my ATTENTION with the first line.
That George Lucas guy was kind of smart. I’ve seen the “a long time ago” line – by itself – get applause in the theater at the beginning of each new Star Wars movie. You don’t have to get applause, but you do have to get noticed. Hopefully, using this tip will help you.
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