A Beginning, Middle, & End

I’ve been listening to Steve Martin’s, “Born Standing Up,” it’s the second time I’ve listened the audiobook format.  A line towards the end of the book struck me.  Early on in Steve’s career we wanted his comedy to always have a beginning, middle, & end.  Later on in the book he was talking about making his transition into movies and this point was one of the reasons he loved making movies.  It allowed him to continue writing the beginning, middle and end.

I was think about this concept for the last few days and it’s similar to one of the mantra’s at Toastmasters.  I’ve been a Toastmasters member for about a year and a half and they also emphasis this point.  When giving a speech you should have a clear beginning, middle, and end.  My mentor at Toastmasters liked to say that you need to tell the audience what you’re going to say, tell them what you said you were going to say, and then tell them what you just said.  I like to think of this technique as the, “Three Tells.”  The point is to make sure you are getting your point across to the audience.  I try to use this in every speech I have to give.

I’ve been think that my blog posts could use some work in this area.  I don’t want these to feel like some rambling thoughts.  I also don’t want them to be a mashup of multiple ideas.  I need to start thinking about these posts in a similar way I’d write a speech or Steve Martin would write comedy.

What I don’t want to happen is for these posts to become short stories.  My goal is to keep them as short and sweet as possible.  The ultimate goal is to keep them in a short Seth Godin like format because the last thing I want is to churn out an unreadable 1,000 word post.  I need to find my beginning, middle, and end.