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4 Tips For Mastering The Art Of Storytelling In Today’s Content



JUNE 2017

The first time I read one of those Humans of New York posts, I was hooked; I was mesmerized. It was a great story, first of the many I would read. Another series that I gained to love were the TED talks. I got hooked by the first speaker I listened to. Both series had one thing in common: a good story. But behind it was a great storyteller. If there was one thing I want to do is to be able to tell stories that hook and absorb; overwhelm and inspire.

But what is in this art (or science) of storytelling that we can learn, acquire, and practice in time to capture the hearts of our audience, get them hooked and get their fix?

The dawn of the storyteller

We’ve all been there, longing for a story or an anecdote or even a humorous line. I’m guessing it all started when man discovered fire. Nights became bright, and cavemen told stories, warnings, and daily events in front of a campfire.

Fast forward to the 21st century, and we still have storytellers like cavemen but with newer methods, styles, words but the charm is the same.

So you want to be a storyteller

How do you become one magnetic storyteller then? Here are some tips for writing and telling a great story.

Great storytellers add emotions

If you let two different people tell the same story, there will be one whose story you’ll remember. It’s not the story; it’s how they were told. And the one who put the emotions in the story will surely be remembered.

Add your feelings about your story. Don’t just tell it. The posts in the Humans of New York series always injected emotions in the short stories of each photographed person by Brandon Stanton. You don’t just read the emotions of each one; you can actually feel each one.

Great storytellers create a good sequence

All good stories are just a sequence of events, but if your sequence is not properly thought of, you could lose your audience from the get-go. Your narrative should have a clear pattern. It’s like building the right climax to the punchline. If you tell the result too early, you end up with a lost audience.

Whether you want to give flashbacks or fast forwards, make sure your audience is still with you and that they won’t get confused or restless.

While emotions hook the readers in, it’s the narrative that keeps them wanting to know what happens next.

Great storytellers have rapport with their audience

The magic is in the connection you create between you and your hooked audience. Without a certain rapport, your audience will be withdrawn or aloof. By disclosing yourself in your story, you build rapport. But it must be at an acceptable level. Disclose too much, and it could be embarrassing. Disclose too little, and there’s no real rapport.

Great storytellers practice the art

Sooner or later, you will learn that storytelling will come easy because you’ve practiced through time. But the idea is to put yourself out there and master your craft. Join Toastmasters, write a story on Wattpad, submit a script or join a storytelling group. Even practice in front of your mirror or record yourself, listen to your voice quality, the highs, and lows and then be your own critic. The best stories to start with are your own personal best stories from your past.

In the end, the reward is the best: being a great storyteller. We all want to make good connections in life, don’t we? When you master the art of storytelling, it will surprise you at how much easier it is to make emotional connections with the people who matter to you. And that, I believe, is one of the most important life skills we should master.

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Annie Ianko

Chief Content Officer

Annie has 20 years of experience as an editor and content creator and manager. With work in television and written media, she has dedicated her past 10 years to learning the ropes of online content creation, from writing to editing, from SEO to content management.

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