How Was Your Weekend?



We are natural story tellers. People have been sharing great stories since before we knew how to write them down. Great stories help us learn from each other, and the more vivid they are, the better they can be used to share experiences.

“How was your weekend?”

When friends talk and share stories they also use ordinary language. ‘Cup of tea’ language - the words you’d expect to hear if you overheard two friends sitting in a cafe chatting about their weekend. It’s free of jargon and acronyms. It’s vivid and emotional and includes how they felt, why they were surprised or afraid or delighted. It’s told from a very human perspective.

In contrast, organisations regularly overuse professional language and jargon and their literature is dry and factual and lacking in any real feeling.

Sharing stories about who you are and what you stand for is powerful. Examples of how real people tackled problems, changed their course, and how your service or product made a big difference in their lives.

When you talk to your friends, what kind of daily trivia do you share? What do you find most interesting about each others’ stories? And what kind of language do you use?

Now check your service language. Imagine you are a customer and read your printed literature, call your customer service centre, speak to a member of the sales team, pour over your website and read the backlog of posts on social channels. Are you story-telling? Are you using cup of tea language? And would real people have a conversation like that?