A Well Spun Tale

Walter Breunig receives a George Washington gavel, one of the highest honors accorded by the Freemasons, on his 113th birthday. Photograph by John Moore (Reuters) The world's oldest man, who attributed his longevity to eating two meals and an aspirin every day, died of natural causes in Great Falls, Montana. He was 114.

Walter Breunig was a railroad man who married an aptly named telegraph operator, Agnes Twokey. Known as kind and humble, Breunig found himself late in life appearing on News Hour with Jim Lehrer and a question-and-answer segment in the magazine, Men's Journal.

A friend said at his funeral that Breunig "taught me all things in moderation will help lead to a long life and that hard work and a modest living are enough for a happy life."

Confined in his later years to a nursing home, his caregivers said Breunig was lucid to the end and unafraid to face death. The governor of Montana mourned his passing.

You probably never heard of Walter Breunig, but nevertheless read his story. Rich in detail, sparing in words, the story is irresistible. Good stories always are.

Storytelling is one of the most powerful, yet largely untapped sources of communication.

We learn important lessons by listening to stories when we are young. We tell stories with interesting details and facts to amuse or inform friends. Somewhere along the line we forget how to tell a good story as we concentrate on squeezing our "message" into 140 characters on Twitter.

Rediscover this tried-and-true source of illumination and entertainment. Tap on your own experience and tell stories that draw your audience toward you as you make your point

Whether in a speech, letter or video, fascinate readers, listeners and viewers with a well spun tale.