Over the past month I have been developing in-depth content for a writing workshop which will include a two-hour overview in the morning and three practical sessions in the afternoon. I have been focusing on making sure I have enough content to provide value for five whole hours.

However, I read recently that we forget 90% of the stuff that we learn within 30 days. Darius Foroux discusses this issue in his Procrastinate Zero course and says “the most important thing is to give meaning to every single thing you learn”. 

That means, when you learn something, immediately try to think about how you can apply it to your life.  

Darius goes on to say:

“We learn when we repeat stuff. And we give meaning to it when we connect theory with our experiences. In that way, you create new networks in your brain, which will make it easier to recall the things you’ve learned.”

When I think about workshops and courses that have made a tangible difference to me, it’s the ones where I took something and ran with it beyond the workshop. Here are the three things I would most like the people who attend the writing workshop to take away and apply.

Action 1 – Story structure

Idea

You can use this structure to get to grips with your ‘story’, no matter what the topic.

… AND … (background information)

 BUT … (problem/issue/opportunity)

 THEREFORE … (we should take this approach).

Example (the structure of this article)

I have been preparing for a writing workshop AND developing new content

BUT we forget 90% of what we learn unless we apply it in our own life

THEREFORE this article encourages readers to take three specific actions.

Apply it

Think about what you are doing right now. Try expressing this as an ABT story so that you will remember how to do it.

Action 2 – The power of three

Idea

People respond well to lists of three.

Examples (popular fairy tales)
  • Cinderella and her two ugly stepsisters
  • Goldilocks and the three bears
  • The three little pigs.

Apply it

Think about an upcoming decision you need to make (for work or at home). Come up with three options, and choose the best one.

Action 3 – Proofreading resources

Idea

Excellent online resources are available to help you to spell correctly, including the use of macrons on Māori words.

Apply it

Save the Oxford English Dictionary and the Māori Dictionary to your internet browser.

More information

If you want more information, you are welcome to access my report writing guide (which I recently updated for the writing workshop). It includes:

  • two story structures to avoid (AAA and DHY)
  • two tools to use to help you to step inside the shoes of your audience (an empathy map and the whole brain thinking quadrant)
  • two different ways to create a first draft
  • specific questions to ask yourself during the editing process
  • access to a proofreading checklist.