Chances are, you can immediately think of someone who is an amazing storyteller. You know when they start speaking, you will be captivated and entertained as they unfold their words and take you along an exciting journey. Storytelling is much different than telling a story. So, today, let’s chat about some ways you can elevate your abilities and embrace the art of storytelling.
Recalling an event is simply stating the facts; the who, what, when and where. Storytelling, on the other hand, is the gift of creating a compelling narrative, that is emotionally engaging and memorable, leaving your listeners thinking about what you’ve said long after the fact. So, whether you are speaking to a few, or to hundreds of people, there are some ways you can tell a story that keeps them captivated and excited.
Understand your message
Whether speaking to a large audience, a small group, or just a few people it is important to understand the message you want to convey. Be sure that you know what the point of your story is so you can effectively transfer that to your listeners.
While it is important to be compelling, you also want to make sure that when you are finished, they walk away with clarity knowing the what, the significance, and the ability to recall the information they’ve received with ease. Leaving your audience, no matter the size, with mixed messages can be frustrating and confusing.
Keep it personal
Your story is more relatable the more personal it feels. You have likely heard the saying, “show, don’t tell,” and this is valuable to your storytelling. When speaking, show how you have lived through experiences, whether that be related to your personal or professional life. It is these narratives that captivate your listeners and allow them to feel like you are trustworthy, while keeping them engaged.
It is also important to remember that perfection isn’t the goal. In fact, you are more likable to others when you are open about your imperfections and display vulnerabilities through your storytelling.
Your words matter
One of the ways stories become confusing, or less interesting, is when the person speaking begins to ramble or loses their train of thought. This can lead listeners down a path that steers away from the message that the speaker is attempting to convey. Ensure that the words you choose have purpose and meaning.
Often, especially if we are nervous, it is easy to get sidetracked as we talk. Try your best to stay the course of your story so that you can successfully engage your audience. Each sentence should move the story along, and each word should further solidify your key message. Remove the “fluff” that you don’t need and stay focused on the point you are trying to make.
We understand that speaking to others can be a daunting task. However, the more you do it, the easier it will become, and soon you will be a master of storytelling.