Storytelling is Easier than You Think
Power of Storytelling
Did you know: people remember stories a lot longer than any data? Just statistics has a retention rate of 5% to 10%. But, when you pair it up with a few powerful anecdotes, the retention rate can skyrocket from 65% to 70%.
Stories are the backbone of every culture. We’ve been hearing them for so long that it becomes easy to learn from them. But, they’ve also become a valuable component in today’s society. We tell our friends, peers, and coworkers stories all the time.
Story as a Strategy
We use stories as a strategy to sell a product or persuade someone to buy it, to motivate people, and inspire a team. When you learn how to tell a solid story, you will also figure out how to capture, keep, and direct people’s attention. This will become a vital leadership skill.
If you want to learn how to tell a proper story, you’ve come to the right place. We will show you all the ins and outs of becoming the ideal storyteller.
What's Holding You Back?
A huge chunk of the population considers themselves bad storytellers. When you ask someone why they feel that way, they will tell you a bunch of different reasons, such as:
- I don't know how to maintain interest.
- I ramble all the time and forget what I wanted to say.
- I can’t think of a good story to share
- I'm not that good with details.
Do any of these reasons ring a bell?
Well, just because it is making you feel nervous, it doesn’t mean you are doing it wrong. Yes, stories can be daunting. They take some effort and time before you get it right. But, no matter what your reason is, we will help you regain your confidence.
5 Beginner-Friendly Steps to Telling a Good Story
If you want to get your storytelling right every single time, here are a couple of steps that can help. Stick to the guideline below, and you will have a story ready to tell in no-time.
Step 1: Decide What You Want to Share
Every story should progress towards a central message. This will be your anchor. Think about it, what is it that you want to tell people? Do you have an idea you can work with? Once you find that key component, it becomes easy to capture the attention of every listener.
If you want to tell a dramatic event, then you need to create suspense and tension as you are just about to finish your story. This will be a major turning point for all the listeners.
But, if you plan on sharing a funny experience, then you must have a twist. Work the story towards that twist. Build a scenario that will engage listeners as you come to the climax of the story. Simple but effective.
Step 2: Create the Structure
Each story is different. It has a unique narrative and countless ways you can describe it. But, all stories share three main components of a well-made structure.
You can’t start with the end and then work your way to the beginning. This will ruin the whole concept of the story. What you can do instead is start with a simple incident. Then, work your way to the action or core of the story. Slowly build the anticipation. And finally, create a climax that will settle every problem you created.
Do Stories Have to Be Long?
Not really. You don’t have to tell an elaborate story just to get the message across. Even stories that are a minute long will get the job done.
Instead of puttering around all day, you can fit all the information you need in just one minute. Just skip the minor details and stick to the information that matters. You can check out our Holiday Short Stories and Holiday Greetings if you need an example of a one-minute-long story.
Step 3: Be Ready to Face Obstacles
A good storyteller gets everyone to listen. But, a great one inspires conflict.
That’s right. You want the listeners to talk about your story. You need to embrace this drama and build upon it.
Why? Well, the reason is relatively simple. The more people talk about your story, the more interested they are in what you have to say. It means they listened to every word you said. There is no better compliment than that.
Step 4: Work on Your Expression
The key to telling a good story lies in the way you speak. If you want to engage people, you need to work on your gaze. Listeners appreciate eye contact. It makes them feel a part of the story you tell. They can hear it in your voice.
Another trick is the expression. Your voice will convey all your emotions. This is something you can bring to life as you change your tone. So, focus your eyes on the audience, change the tone of the voice as you reach the climax, and move the hands as you explain. This will get all the attention you need.
Step 5: Learn from Others
Sometimes, we need a kick in the right direction. A little push to show us the way. That’s where listening and observing other storytellers can help. You can learn from their way of speaking. You can turn their experience to your advantage.
To find good stories or storytellers, observe public speakers, enjoy a conversation at the dinner table, or ask a family member who is good at telling stories to share some of your childhood tales. With simple observation, you can go a long way.
As you can see, stories are not as intimidating as you thought they would be. When you work your way to your ideas, you can tell a great story. With the information listed here, you can create an awesome idea, regardless of how experienced you might be.
Also, don’t forget to learn from other stories. Keep expanding your knowledge so that you will overcome all the hurdles along the way. Just don’t push yourself too hard or try to be perfect. If you really want to tell a proper story, you should enjoy every moment of your storytelling.