Storytelling is booming today, however, its origins date back many centuries, since humans gathered around the heat of a bonfire and told stories to each other.
The elements that make a story inspiring and engaging have not changed so much since then. Creativity and the ability to connect with others remain critical ingredients to ignite a spark within each listener.
What makes a good story?
Stories can change the way we feel, think, and act. When you tell a story to someone, you show your values, your virtues, and your humanity. If you constantly work to achieve an authentic connection with your audience or clients, little by little you will gain their trust and loyalty.
The first thing to keep in mind before using storytelling is to know that a good story is composed of creativity, honesty, and emotional connection and that they are capable of inspiring action.
What is storytelling?
Storytelling is the art of telling a story using sensory language, creating a compelling narrative of events, with a final message that conveys teaching that will be understood and internalized by listeners.
Remember that your customers not only buy your product and your audience not only buy your content, but they also buy the emotions they feel when consuming something from your brand. In this sense, meanings and emotions are as important as the content of your story, and reaching more people is just as critical as the effect you have on them.
Writing tips to become a successful storyteller
1. Know your audience
Over thousands of years, human beings have organized themselves into tribes. Today the tribes have multiplied, and people who share interests, values, and ways of seeing the world identify as part of the same group. Each tribe has its own stories, and the narratives that work with one group may be indifferent to another. Therefore, for your storytelling to achieve the result you are looking for, you first have to know exactly which tribe you are targeting and what their motivations and interests are.
2. Choose the objective of your story
No story is the same as another; they range from experiences that teach something to stories that generate empathy in the audience. In order to decide what kind of story you are going to tell, you need to know how you want your audience to react when reading or listening to it. The type of story you select will be directly connected to your goals (increase the visibility of your brand, announce your achievements, motivate people to action, etc.).
3. Determine the structure of your story
For a story to be engaging, it has to have a well-defined structure. The easiest way to tell a story is through an introduction, development and conclusion, which are the minimum elements that you should include. If you are looking for more advanced narratives, you can apply other storytelling techniques, such as converging ideas, sparklines, petal structure, the false start, in media res, or the monomyth. But remember that the simpler the structure of your story, the easier it will be to understand. A simple story is a strong story, and this simplicity makes it easier for readers to identify and give greater meaning to their own experiences.
4. Create unforgettable characters
Characters are an essential ingredient of your story; whether they are villains who represent the challenge to overcome or heroes who are role models, it is important that they are well written and that they are not a simple collection of stereotypes.
5. Emotions are the key
Storytelling relies more on emotions than on rational arguments. A language based on emotions is the key to connecting with an audience and generating the response you are looking for. Before defining the specific details of your story, think about the emotions you want to generate and the feelings that identify your story. Do you want to make your audience laugh? Would you rather make them think? Or do you want to leave them with their mouths open? The main rule is that every story you write must be honest and real in order for people to empathize with it.