Everyone hears the buzzword storytelling these days. The best business leaders, directors, and politicians all wield it with power. But nobody talks about how to do it.
Storytelling is described as an art. It is the process of using fact and narrative to communicate something to your audience. Some stories are factual, and some are embellished or improvised to better explain the core message.
Everyone hears the buzzword storytelling these days. The best business leaders, directors, and politicians all wield it with power. But nobody talks about how to do it. Storytelling is a trial-and-error process, and no one tells a story perfectly on the first try.
Know your audience: To create a compelling story, you need to understand your readers and who will respond and act. Before you put a pen, do some research on your target market, and define your buyer persona. This process will get you acquainted with who might be reading, viewing, or listening to your story
Start like a cold open: The beginning of your story must hook the audience and that means putting them directly in the scene. No context is needed.
Define your core message: Whether your story is one page or twenty, ten minutes or sixty, it should have a core message. Like the foundation of a home, it must be established before moving forward. Try to summarize your story in six to ten words. If you cannot do that, you do not have a core message.
Decide what kind of story you are telling: Not all stories are created equal. To determine what kind of story you are telling, figure out how you want your audience to feel or react as they read. This will help you determine how you are going to weave your story and what objective you are pursuing.
Slow down: You want to speak slowly, take pauses, and let the tension build. This lets your audience start to use their imagination instead of trying to keep up with your rapid pace. Creates edge-of-the-seat feelings.
Do not tell: Except most people just tell the audience it was night. Instead, deliver the details that show it. As I walked along the cracked and dimly lit street, I grew concerned that I might trip with barely a ray of light from the quarter moon.
Emotional truth: You want the audience to feel how you felt in that story, do not leave out facts that might destroy the emotion behind how you experienced it. Exaggerate slightly as needed because that is how it felt
Have a theme: Your story needs a major takeaway to make it memorable. This becomes the North Star to guide you.
Choose your words wisely: You want to use language like “Imagine” and ask rhetorical questions. But the trick here is to give your audience time to really imagine or answer the question internally. Do not rush this and use them to bring your story to life for the audience.
Your body amplifies the story: Movement and facial expressions are how people gauge the believability of your words. Comedians do an incredible job of this.
Musicality in your delivery: When you tell a story, it should sound like music to your audience. You do this by big dynamic ranges with your pacing, cadence, tone, volume, and rhythm. You should have fast moments and slow ones. Replicate the right vibe.