How to tell a great story - like Mandela

The film "Mandela - Long walk to freedom" tells a huge story.  It roughly covers the period 1918-1994. From childhood to the first free South African elections. 

Complex issues, complex people. Every bit as dramatic as Homer's Illiad.

For the storytellers (Madiba himself, the director, producer ...) the challenge was immense.  And the "sub-challenges" were myriad.

At the very heart of all that rich material lay a question "How much can we leave out - without doing injustice to the magnificent truth?"

It's the same for your story, isn't it?
If you were to tell the story of your life - so that every second of your storytelling held your audience spellbound - what would you leave out?

What could you cut back? What would you have to leave in? What would be the long version, the business bio, the elevator pitch? 

When he wrote "Long Road to Freedom", Nelson Mandela left out a lot. When  William Nicholson  wrote the screenplay, he wished he could have said more.

When Rick Russell edited the rushes, he left plenty on the darkroom floor.

That's what you do when you tell a great story.  You never start from the short version. You edit like mad. You get help from others.

Your story emerges - until it becomes irresistibly attractive.