What is one tip for being a better storyteller?
To help you be a better storyteller, we asked experienced tour guides and writers this question for their best tips. From using a proven framework to making stories out of everyday life, there are several strategies that may help you grow your storytelling skills in the future.
Here are twelve tips on how to become a better storyteller:
- Use a Proven Framework
- Be Passionate
- Focus On Your Audience
- Exude Authenticity
- Start at the End
- Be Wary of Over-Explaining
- Join a Toastmasters International Club.
- Play On Emotions
- Start Your Story in Media Res
- Paint Word Pictures
- Be Linear
- Make Stories Out of Everyday Life
Use a Proven Framework
Our tour guides follow a proprietary framework engineered to ensure maximum audience engagement. Techniques our guides use to capture audience attention and tell a story that resonates include starting with a question, leveraging hyper-specific details, and including anecdotes that make the narrative personal. These elements draw listeners in and help to pique and maintain interest. Following a narrative formula helps our storytellers craft consistently compelling tales instead of leaving it up to chance that audiences will be interested and amused by the story. Plus, the framework gives the story structure and gives the storyteller direction to practice and perfect the skills of weaving an interesting narrative.
Tasia Duske, Museum Hack
It’s important to be passionate about what you’re sharing so that it’s clear to your listeners that you really care about the topic of discussion. If you’re telling a story and aren’t even interested in the topic yourself, you’re probably not going to be capturing anyone else’s attention either. Choose stories that you care about and can go into detail about, answering any questions your audience might have. Be happy to be telling your story, and your listeners will be happy too!
Tom Mumford, Undergrads
Focus On Your Audience
Focus on your audience. Many writers may try to prove themselves by using words that make them seem smarter, or by placing themselves ‘above’ their audience. This, however, alienates your reader or listener. The best way to be a good storyteller is to focus on the linguistic tendencies of your audience. Speak directly to them, and then you will actually acquire the opportunity for them to listen.
Chris Vaughn, Emjay
One of the rising storytelling marketing trends is customers wanting authenticity from brands. They’re not only looking to connect with the product but the founders, the story behind how and why the company started, and more. Customers are looking for brands to show “who” they are by sharing the story about how the brand got started, their culture, the people behind the brand, and how they are helping make a difference in their customers’ lives. This kind of authenticity helps humanize your brand and make it feel more approachable and trustworthy. This will be particularly important for larger corporations that can sometimes feel disconnected from their customers.
Maegan Griffin, Skin Pharm
Start at the End
Stories have a beginning, a development, and an ending that closes the story, which is often the reason why the receivers have remained attentive to the message. But in business and corporate messaging, you don’t necessarily have to follow that approach. This is not the case even in “artistic” messages, such as literature. Sometimes starting at the end and then building back to the story can work very well because it helps the audience focus on what you’re telling them and less on figuring out where the story will take them.
Miruna Necula, Passport-Photo.Online
Be Wary of Over-Explaining
One mistake that can kill an otherwise great story is over-explanation. Some writers feel compelled to explain everything to their audience, filling them in on every detail and making inferences for them. Don’t discount your audience’s intelligence! People are perfectly capable of making simple A to B inferences, and in fact, it makes the story better. When people have to read between the lines and make logical leaps, it can help to build suspense and make a story feel more complex. It adds subtle nuances to the story you otherwise kill with over-explanation. How many times have you read a story before, only to think “I get it already, get to the good part”? Good storytellers aren’t afraid to go out on a limb and leverage their audience’s intelligence. Don’t over-explain details. Your audience will fill them in their mind and make the necessary connections.
John Ross, Test Prep Insight
Join a Toastmasters International Club.
Join a Toastmasters International club. Toastmasters is a club that gives people real life public speaking experience. Members receive books that provide them with expert storyteller tips and guide them on the speech writing process. After a speech is given, the speaker gets constructive feedback from the group in a nonthreatening environment, which helps them to improve as an expert storyteller. One piece of storytelling advice I have is to omit every boring detail. Get to the meat of your story, and keep it concise.
Stephanie Venn-Watson, fatty15
Play On Emotions
Storytelling can be extremely effective in closing deals, getting through to clients or even influencing potential customers. The power of storytelling lies in how you make people feel and how the story impacts them and that’s why expressing an emotion through your storytelling is essential. Your storytelling should make people feel something, be it, inspirational, sad, emotional, enthusiastic or even funny. The way you will get through to people and make them connect to your story is by displaying and effectively making them feel your emotions and move them into feeling the need to take an action through your product/service.
Michael Nemeroff, Rush Order Tees
Start Your Story in Media Res
Starting a story in media res means starting in the middle, or more accurately, “in the midst of things.” This plunges your listeners right into the crucial parts of your story and holds their attention. I think the best way to do this is to pick out the most jarring and impactful detail of the story and convey that first. So, if you’re telling a story about how you started your first company, you don’t necessarily need to start with your high school days, your college education, and your first entry-level job. Imagine starting off with something like, “My last straw was my boss not letting me leave the office for a funeral.” That starts you off in the middle, conveying pre-existing doubts about your previous job, an uncompassionate leader, an unhealthy work-life balance, and a key motivator. Plus, having strict bosses is relatable.
Eric Ang, One Search Pro
Paint Word Pictures
Be a little dramatic. “Paint word pictures” for your audience to visualize. You can do this by using descriptive adjectives and metaphors to enhance the subject at hand and add some depth. Add flair to your work by illustrating every setting, character, occasion, and atmosphere. Storytelling is a limitless artform carried by imagination and creativity. Use every ounce of your creative expressions to help your audience visualize your words and enhance your storytelling.
Datha Santomieri, Steadily
To be a good storyteller, think linear. Create a clear beginning, middle and end. Nail down that simple writing style first before you try to color outside the lines. Be fundamentally sound. You can only go so far without knowing the basics. In fact, your first draft should usually be a linear narrative, even if you’re a seasoned writer. You can always tweak it later or do something creative with the timeline after you’ve already established a chronological order of events. If you learn to be a linear writer, you will become a clear writer.
Joel Jackson, Lifeforce
Make Stories Out of Everyday Life
One way to become a better storyteller is to write down everyday situations you have been in. Recall what happened, what it made you think about, and what left a lasting impression on you. Later, you can dive deeper into each story and explore how it connects to seemingly unrelated things. For example, how does what your daughter told you at lunch relate to your work? Discovering such analogies makes your stories more relatable because many people have probably been in the same situation. And next time it happens, they are likely to remember the takeaway story you’ve shared.
Georgi Todorov, thrivemyway