People have always been fascinated by stories.
Stories were the first and only way to share information, dreams, to entertain, inspire, and connect with others long before humans had any other forms of communication.
We all love stories. A good story can convey a message, entertain or ignite a fire within your audience.
Many people think that the art of storytelling is something difficult and complex, reserved only for certain skilled members of society.
That couldn’t be farther from the truth. The skills necessary to tell a story can be acquired through practice and with the right toolkit, everyone can become a master storyteller.
Any successful entrepreneur has one mythical quality – the ability to tell a compelling story that draws in the listeners.
Let’s find out together what are the main issues we should address when crafting a powerful, compelling story.
1. The Audience
Before beginning your story, spend 5 minutes thinking about who you’re targeting.
This first step is crucial and will determine how long the story should be and what language you should be using.
To be effective, the audience must be able to relate to the story.
Who are you speaking to?
Do you need to come across more professional or will a friendly tone work better?
Will it be published as a blog post, on Facebook, or another platform?
These are very important aspects to consider to help you set the right tone and achieve the best effects with your audience.
2. Set The Scene
Set the scene and provide your audience with context for the story.
Your story needs to framed inclusively; there has to be something your audience identifies with.
We experience the world through our senses and so, if you want to fully capture your audience, you must engage their senses.
By engaging the senses of your audience and setting the scene, you will achieve a more immersive experience for your readers.
Try to think about the “user experience” of your story.
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3. Conflict & Tension
This is the stuff all great narrative are made of.
If there’s no struggle or a conflict, it makes for an uninteresting story.
An empathetic hero overcoming a meaningful hurdle – and succeeding in the end – is irresistible.
4. Keep It Short & Simple
One of the challenges with storytelling is keeping the audience’s attention without putting them to sleep with a long, ponderous story.
Details are vital, but it takes practice and feedback to keep your stories compelling and brief.
Avoid the complex, details as well as the use of adjectives and complicated nouns.
Using simple language is the best way to activate regions of the brain that help us relate to the events in a story.
5. Let Yourself Be Vulnerable
Past stories of struggles, failures and overcoming barriers the storyteller has experienced are excellent sources that help the teller connect with the audience as everyone has experienced these in life.
Leaders who tell personal stories and show vulnerability, encourage others to speak up.
Showing some sincere emotion increases trust and forms a bond between the speaker and the audience.
A story that doesn’t ring true will be perceived as fiction and may harm the speaker’s credibility.
The characters, settings, and challenges must feel real.
The story should introduce empathetic characters. The listeners must be able to see themselves in the shoes-or context-of the hero.
Small, vivid, or important details enhance the authenticity of the story.
However, too much information that is not relevant to the central narrative would have diluted the story’s emotional impact.
7. Impress Your Audience
Add magic to your story by leaving your audience with a sense of awe, the sort of feeling you get when you leave the cinema after a great film.
You can do this by leaving them with a “big question” about humanity or something similar to ponder about.
Surprise your audience too. This is the twist, the moment when they say, Whoa, I haven’t realize that.
Then, there should be closure in the story too.
You must tell people exactly what you want them to do at the conclusion of your talk. Never leave this in the air.
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Storytelling is the number one skill that can help you create an unforgettable personal brand .
Social media is the fastest way to do it, at little to no cost.
With the bonus of sharing your personal story, you can develop a deeper relationship with your audience, tribe, or community very quickly.
Just like entrepreneurship, learning how to craft your story takes time, research, testing, and failing.
Nevertheless, developing this superior communication skill is no longer an option; it’s fundamental for success.
Never underestimate the power of your story. And never underestimate the intelligence of your audience.
Play it truthfully and emotionally, create a dialogue, and you will see how the gift of story may just become the most powerful tool in your arsenal.
What’s the great story that you’re about to tell?