The Power of Email and Storytelling: A Fresh Take on Communication

Aadil Verma

Hatched by Aadil Verma

May 25, 2024

3 min read


The Power of Email and Storytelling: A Fresh Take on Communication

Email and storytelling may seem like unrelated topics, but they both play a crucial role in our daily lives. In this article, we will explore the power of email as a communication tool and the art of storytelling. Both have the potential to bring joy, build connections, and leave a lasting impact when done right.

Email, once seen as a treasure, has now become a burden for many. We receive countless unwanted emails from unknown senders, causing us to lose control over who can reach us. Automated emails clutter our inboxes, turning email into a chore rather than a source of delight. However, amidst the chaos, email remains a wonder. It allows people from different corners of the world to connect and share their love, ideas, and even earn a living.

Recognizing the need for change, 37signals introduced HEY, a fresh take on email and calendars. This email service aims to simplify and modernize the way we use email, bringing back the joy and excitement it once held. HEY is a love letter to email, a renovation that focuses on creating a seamless and enjoyable email experience on various platforms.

Similarly, storytelling has the power to captivate and engage. In an interview with Shaan Puri on the "How I Write" podcast, the importance of storytelling becomes evident. Puri shares how even in low-stakes moments, using storytelling builds likeability and fandom. He emphasizes the key to storytelling, which can be summed up in a 30-second masterclass: intention and obstacle.

Intention and obstacle form the backbone of any compelling story. The hero of the story, whether it's you or someone else, must have a clear intention, a desire they are striving to fulfill. Understanding why they want it and the consequences of not achieving it adds depth to the story. Equally important is the obstacle that stands in their way. It creates tension, conflict, and keeps the audience engaged.

Taking the example of Harry Potter, his intention is to live, but Voldemort, the most powerful wizard of all time, stands as his obstacle. This simple concept of intention and obstacle can be applied to any story or movie. At any given moment, you should be able to identify what the protagonist wants and what is preventing them from getting it. If this clarity is lacking, the audience's attention will wane.

So, how can we apply these insights to our own lives and communication? Here are three actionable pieces of advice:

  • 1. Reimagine Email: Take a fresh look at your email habits and explore new platforms or services that prioritize a better user experience. Consider switching to email services like HEY that focus on simplifying and modernizing the email experience.
  • 2. Incorporate Storytelling: Whether you're writing an email, giving a presentation, or sharing a personal anecdote, infuse storytelling elements into your communication. Clearly define your intention and highlight the obstacles that you or others have overcome. This will make your message more engaging and memorable.
  • 3. Prioritize Clarity: When crafting emails, presentations, or any form of communication, ensure that your intention and obstacle are crystal clear. Take a step back and ask yourself if your audience will understand what you want and what is standing in your way. Keep their attention by maintaining this clarity throughout.

In conclusion, email and storytelling have the power to create meaningful connections and leave a lasting impact. By reimagining email and incorporating storytelling techniques into our communication, we can bring back the joy and excitement that these mediums once held. Let's dust off email, simplify it, and use the art of storytelling to engage and captivate our audience.

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