The one common theme that transcends geography and language, is stories.
Weall love to hear a good story and telling it is a skill you cannot take lightly.
Your ability to tell a story can define your trajectory in life. The more people you can keep engrossed and engaged, the better your probability and height of success.
With storytelling, comes the art of persuasion, the talent to gain support and inspire others to follow you or your endeavors.
Telling a good story is essential to any compelling argument you make. You will not be heard unless you can relate in stories, stories others can relate to, understand and imbibe. When we describe facts and enumerate figures, not many like it for it lacks the relatability factor for those listening and seems very cut and dry where they cannot draw comparisons to understand it.
Such things, though maybe important, do not tend to stick and can bore the audience pretty quickly. Try weaving it into a story and it’ll grab attention like no other for there is interest to relate, understand and experience the emotions that go with it. When you can create and share good stories, your influence can be immense.
Looking back at our history, all we know of it is through stories, some that have enamored us and others that have left us in horrendous disbelief. Yet, they all tend to remain fresh in our minds since we relate to them in one form or another.
You too, my friend, can be a good storyteller.
While we all can get better at the craft, there are certain basic tenets to follow to unleash a good story.
Always share a message — Know who your audience is and what message you want to share with them. Then, weave your story to cater to them. At the end of your story, you should be able to leave it as a single statement with your audience to reflect upon. Always know the message you want to convey and then, weave your story to illustrate it.
Use your life experiences — We all have a treasure trove of memories, experiences, and how we reacted to them, good and bad. Dig for your stories from this treasure trove. When you do so, you have a much more compelling way of relating your story for you have experienced it and believe in it. You may or may not want to share your personal experiences, but can draw from them to tell a story, show the struggles and how they can be overcome, and at the same time, exude authenticity from your own experiences that you are talking about.
Exposing true vulnerability — Never hesitate to show vulnerability for that is one thing your audience will empathize with instantly. They feel closer to the story and its characters as they feel a part of the vulnerability experienced. They may draw parallels with their situations as well. Stories do not necessarily have to be about heroes, they can be about common people fighting odds and coming out victorious. Share lessons learned as a part of the journey. Stories are meant to create a deeper sense of belief and ability in the listeners and are always, not about the characters in the story. That is why the audience connects to the message being imparted.
Put the spotlight on the struggle and how it’s overcome — Any story garners interest when it describes challenges and how they are overcome. Conflict is the basis of an interesting story. Describe the challenges ahead, how difficult they are and what needs to be done to overcome them. Show what made the victory possible and inspire others to take such a journey.
Simplicity is key — Never make it long drawn-out or complex when relating a story. When you do that, you may lose the audience’s interest and in fact, may miss the point completely. Be straight, simple, and share just the right amount of details. Keep it crisp and moving swiftly. The audience should just have enough time to digest the information and move to the next rather than contemplate. Immerse them in the propagation of the storyline and focus on the message.
Practice, practice, and practice — The best way to sharpen your skills at story-telling is through practice. It’s not just the story but how you deliver it that counts more. Its effectiveness is measured by how well you can deliver.
Relating a story is a two-way exercise. While the audience gets to be engrossed and learn something, the storyteller gets to influence, share a message, and better understand the audience.