The art of storytelling
Updated: Dec 4, 2019
I’ll tell you about:
Why story telling is important
Three different types of stories
Elements of a good story
So, let’s start from the beginning – why is story telling important?
When we were children, there were four little words that had the power to capture our attention and our imagination. Do you remember them?
Once upon a time…
Those were the magic words that told us we were going to go on a daring adventure, meet someone new or explore a brand-new world. And even though we paid attention to the stories because we were being entertained, we were also being taught important and valuable lessons such as follow our dreams, make sure to help others and watch out for danger.
Fast forward, you are all grown up, but nothing has changed. Stories are just as powerful. They capture your attention, teach you a lesson and inspire you into action. And now you see why it’s important to incorporate story telling into any interaction you are having with your audience.
Next, the three different types of stories you could use
The Personal Journey
If your current career choice, business, product exists because of a personal experience that you had, then make sure to tell it. It could be a decision to solve a problem or a light bulb that went off in your head that lead you to be the person that you are today. That’s the kind of story that people love to hear and want to connect with. It shows why you are the one qualified to solve that problem.
Overcoming Great Obstacles
We all love that hero’s journey struggle. Have you or one of your friends overcome the impossible to achieve a goal. Of course, we all have. We’ve all experienced obstacles and hurdles that we’ve had to overcome to get to where we are today. That’s why when you share your struggles, it’s so easily relatable. Maybe the challenge that you overcame years ago, is the exact same challenge that someone is facing now, and your story might just be the thing that solves their problem.
An Inspirational Story
Did you know that over 112 million copies of Chicken Soup for the Soul have been sold? Why is that? It’s simply because people want to be inspired. They crave that feeling of knowing that impossible can be possible. Look around you, from famous athletes, movie stars and even your friends – there are inspiring stories all around us and they need to be told.
Moving on, what are the elements of a good story?
If you get behind the science of story telling you will notice that it’s all a hormone play. A good story triggers the release of something called the Angel’s cocktail in your brain which is a mix of dopamine, oxytocin and endorphin. The same hormones that are triggered when you are in love, or when you are having chocolate or coffee. When dopamine is released into your blood, it leads to more focus, motivation, and improved memory.
If you want your stories to have this effect, here are a few simple tips
Paint a picture, build suspense (dun dun dun) or launch a cliff hanger.
Use vivid and emotive language
Set up the turning point or arc to the story.
Leave with a moral of the story
Because as someone said, “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel”
So, fellow readers, what’s your story?