For centuries, telling stories has been one of the key methods used by humans to communicate. This form of communication has significantly evolved over the years and shows no signs of dissipating. In fact, because of the advancement of technology, it has become even more popular.
Storytelling stories is one of the most effective ways to teach children important values, impart knowledge to students, sell products, advertise a company, make friends, get hired, and so much more. Unfortunately, not everyone is a natural storyteller. This might be a concern for a lot of people given the importance of this activity. Not to worry – the good news is that this skill can be improved with practice. If you want to become a great storyteller, just follow the rules below:
1. Make sure you have a great heading/title
This is imperative when telling stories. With today’s ever busy schedules and the increasing amount of content people are exposed to, it might be difficult to capture someone’s attention with an unappealing heading, even if you have excellent content. For example, imagine taking a 10-minute break at your office, and you decide to spend the time browsing the Internet. While surfing, you come across 2 headlines, the first being “benefits of sharing your life lesson stories“, and the second one being “the powerful mystery behind sharing your life lesson stories”.
Which of the two headings are you more likely to click on? I’m guessing it will be the second one, and one of the reasons is that the second heading keeps you wondering. This is what you should be aiming for when telling stories. Craft a catchy heading that will intrigue your audience and keep them guessing.
2. Your story must meet the needs of your audience
If you really want to master storytelling, then you must draft your stories in a way that will meet the needs of your audience. For this to happen, you need to start by determining the needs of your target audience. This is important because there is an enormous amount of content uploaded every minute, which has contributed to people’s short attention span. Meeting the needs of your audience will keep them engaged.
Telling stories which meet the needs of your audience is also an efficient way to establish an emotional connection with them. Note that your relationship with your audience starts with this emotional connection. For example, if your aim is to sell a product, you will need to connect with them first, before they will consider doing business with you.
3. Add high-quality images where applicable
I’m sure you have heard that, “a picture is worth a thousand words”. Adding high-quality images that are relevant to your stories is paramount. The simple truth is that stories which contain high-quality and relevant pictures are more visually appealing than their counterparts. This is probably the reason why Instagram is so popular today. Moreover, adding pictures to your stories make them more likely to be shared on social media, by your audience.
4. Add a villain (challenges) when telling stories
This is a great way to spice up your stories and add some tension. Stories without an antagonist are often uninteresting because most people don’t want to read a story in which everything was perfect. Introducing an adversary, who your audience can relate to, is a great way to keep them engaged and a way for you to connect with them. Besides, adding a rival (which could be the challenges your audience is struggling with), creates the situation where a hero (which could be the products or services you are selling) is born.
In a nutshell, whenever you are storytelling, try to add a villain which represents the pain or the struggles your audience is going through, then take away that pain and you/your product becomes the hero.
5. The story is not about you, it is about the reader
When telling stories, you must remember that the goal is not to talk about how great you or your products/services are. A great story is about something or someone the reader can relate to – it is about the reader. A great storyteller is one who is able to draft a story that enable the readers to connect challenges and resolutions depicted in the story, with experiences in their own lives.
Think about the last time you had a great conversation with a stranger. I bet it was because the person told a story you could relate to, which immediately created a connection between the two of you.
One thing most of the preceding rules have in common is that they try to help create a connection between the reader and the storyteller. That is probably the most important component of a good story. Try mastering the rules presented and see how becoming a good storyteller will have a positive impact on your life. What are you waiting for? Get out there and start telling stories!