“The best storytellers are the best listeners”, read the title of an email I received this week (from the cats at Stillmotion).

To get to a memorable story via a powerful interview (for example for a case study or impact story), my advice can be summed up in four words: listen hard, have courage.

Be entirely present and alive to every word; listen for the choice of words, the themes or ideas that are repeated, the paths NOT taken, the words unsaid.

And then explore those. Lean in. Be open to their experience, be prepared to sit with their pain or discomfort. Ask the hard questions (never insensitively). Push a little (never intrusively). Hear ALL about their experience. It’s this bit – this last paragraph – that unearths the gems.

I think it probably also helps to have been through a lot of therapy.