One can’t deny the fact that humans love listening to stories. The reasons are as diverse as are the various thoughts of the human brain. Listening to any great story can even leave a lifelong impact in one’s life. But the art of storytelling is often misbegotten. First we should understand that:
Why do great stories work wonders?
First of all listening to stories is entertaining and one who knows the art of incredible storytelling can even help his audience empathize with him. This in turn could enhance people’s decision making power. Now, what exactly are we trying to achieve via storytelling:
Storytelling: Does it matter?
Of course it does.
When we exchange stories, what are we actually exchanging? We are exchanging fears, passions, hardships and happiness. In this process of exchanging we try to find commonality amongst us; in hopes to assimilate the storytellers’ ideas and viewpoints so as to achieve the same level of success of the storyteller.
I believe the art of storytelling is important for building a personal brand and that a brand’s launchpad should be a personal brand. People are more moved when the story is person-to-person rather than brand-to-person.
Talking in entrepreneurial context, if I ask you why do you like listening to a particular person, what will be your answer?
Some of you might answer that:
- He tells the most captivating stories ever.
- When I listen to that person I feel like I am living that story.
- When I listen to him I feel like the story is moving in front of my eyes.
All of these answers are correct because:
‘These people were successful in being the change that they wanted to see in the world.‘
‘They have a story which is genuine and they know how to deliver it perfectly.‘
Be it you or me, anyone can learn the art of storytelling. You just need the right roadmap to it.
So here I am sharing these quick tips on storytelling. Cherry pick the parts you find best.
#Tip 1: Set a structure for your story (The Core of Storytelling)
A story that you tell defines you. Your definition should have a proper structure so as to retain the audience interests. You can prepare a basic outline. It should not only have a beginning, middle and end. Besides it should give a reasonable thrill to your audience with the satisfaction of victory at the end. Some basic things are a mandate that should be included. If you have no idea you can start by answering a few questions like:
1. What is the basic background information and what your character is like?
2. What is the core part of your story or life-changing event happened to you?
3. What is the aim of the character?
4. What obstacles did the character face?
Try framing out your story by answering a few questions like these.
#Tip 2: Choose a Plot
Now, that your outline is ready it is important to choose the plot of your story. This is where your story becomes individualized. The main driver of any entrepreneurial story is motivation. You can do so by choosing the plot wisely, it can be about your experiences that have made you what you are. A few points that you can ponder upon are:
1. Turning point in your life
2. Your most courageous moment
3. Life changing inspiration and where you got it from
4. When your efforts were acknowledged and you were awarded
5. When your vision was different than others
6. A person whom you met who changed your life
7. An advice that you will never forget
8. Most impactful lessons learned
#Tip 3: Connect with your audience
Before defining your storyline and framing the whole story be it a genuine one or not it is important for you to have the audience’s perspective. Here, it is necessary to identify your target audience, and understand their likes, dislikes, factors which they find most attractive. Before being a good storyteller, be a good listener to your audience. Find out what kind of stories and content they find most engaging and entertaining.
After deep diving into their thoughts include the factors and elaborate your story accordingly. Include life-changing and transformational instances in your story. So that they can derive the power from it and implement in their lives as well, not to mention they would also build their trust in you. This way you create a win-win situation!
#Tip 4: Build an elevator pitch for storytelling
This is an important but often neglected point by people. You need people to understand your story and get attracted to it right? So keep it simple!
Keep a 60 second story ready which will brief out your entire journey in that little amount of time. It should be such as people at once get a grasp of it and understand who are you, what you do and why you do it.
It is extremely helpful while you are attending a not-so-formal event and you need to introduce yourself effectively. Be sure to be as precise as possible and influential at the same time. That is what a perfect elevator pitch should be.
#Tip 5: Resemble with your social media profiles
Consider setting your online profiles, for eg, on linkedin, facebook, twitter etc profoundly. If people are influenced by you and your story they will definitely want to follow you online. It is important here to keep few points in mind so that you resemble your official profiles. A few key ideas can be-
1. Set a professional image on all accounts
2. Keep posting content constantly but without overwhelming your followers
3. Keep reminding people who you are and where you come from
4. Strategize your online content based on your story
5. Avoid posting cheesy images, be entertaining but in a good way
6. Post content as directly talking to your followers
7. Often post content that provides value
8. Be genuine
It is important for storytellers to express their thoughts genuinely, stick to essential key points and keep the story engaging so as to connect better with their audience and build a long term reliable relationship with them.
Catch the story beads wandering freely in your mind, gather them together and present it splendidly in front of the world.
Happy Storytelling 🙂