It's Stories All the Way Down

A session at Spectrum 2016 Conference

Monday 18th April, 2016

11:30am to 12:30pm (EST)

One of the most intractable barriers to successful communication is the curse of knowledge – the inability to remember what it is like not to understand a subject once you have mastered it. Because language is not made of definitions but of stories, we tend to forget that words we understand tacitly are, in fact, references to complex stories that we no longer have to recall in order to understand what is said. But the reader who does not tacitly recognize that story is lost.

All of communication, including techComm, is built up of stories. Stories are told by reference to other stories. It is stories all the way down. By understanding just how much of our language is a tacit reference to stories, we can gain a better understanding of what our readers really need to hear from us, and how best to express it.

About the speaker

This person is speaking at this event.
Mark Baker

Content creation, content design, content engineering. Every Page is Page One. bio from Twitter

Mark Baker is the author of Every Page is Page One: Topic-based Authoring for Technical Communication and the Web and the forthcoming Structured Writing: Principles and Practices from XML Press. He provides training and consulting services in topic-based writing and structured writing through his company, Analecta Communications, Inc. He has been blogging about the role of story in communication for the past few months, with an eye to a book on the subject (http://everypageispageone.com).

1 attendee

  • Mark Baker

Sign in to add slides, notes or videos to this session

Sign in to track this session

Tell your friends!


Time 11:30am12:30pm EST

Date Mon 18th April 2016

Short URL


View the schedule


Books by speaker

  • Every Page Is Page One: Topic-Based Writing for Technical Communication and the Web

See something wrong?

Report an issue with this session