I still remember When my grandma used to tell stories, how keenly I used to listen to her. Each word of hers reflected with clear picture of the character in that Story. I would feel lost in her stories, sometimes even getting late to dinner while being scolded by Mom. Oh! I really miss those stories.
Storytelling conveys the message super packed with emotion. When it is conveyed digitally in form of blogs, podcast, or videos, we call it online storytelling. Online storytelling is a skill and can be learnt. Here is a complete beginner friendly guide that will bring out the storyteller inside you.
What is Storytelling?
Storytelling is a simple way to convey a specific message in an interactive way. It persuades the listener towards the message.
When did Storytelling started?
Storytelling is not something new. This has been with us from the early age when Humans were living in caves and forest roaming from one place to another. They used to communicate through drawings carving though the cave walls even on woods. These stories helped others to understand the message more clearly as the stories maintain an emotional connect though out the journey till the message is conveyed.
As we grew from early age and onwards, these changed from drawings and sculpture to text in form of books that can be carried and gave stories the mobility to be everywhere.
Why Storytelling is important?
Stories help you to build an emotional connection not only to the message but also the character which helps us to clearly perceive the message with depth of understanding.
Stories inspire and motivate.
This is the best way for anyone to help build deep connection and that is why, a lot of stories around spirituality and beliefs. We are still carrying stories from generations told by our grandparents and theirs. These stories inspire and motivates us.
Storytelling carries impactful messages.
Stories are super impactful and that’s why the kinder garden children start their journey with stories that help them understand the Moral Science and build a connect with the society. These stories have huge impact not only on children but also on us. The self-help and motivational guides, all contains stories. Stories build connection and conveys the impact of the message.
Stories bring people together.
The characters in story communicate emotions and create a connection with people leading to common feeling building a deep connection helping people stay together. This is also the reason spiritual stories communicates common goal and helps to build a society and maintain that religious peace.
What is the role of storytelling in Business?
Business runs on meeting target and earning profits which again needs communication and persuasion both to its employees and to end customers. Storytelling therefore becomes a particularly important tool in smooth alignment of Business goals.
Storytelling helps to maintain that common goal in Business.
In Business, almost all the Top-class executives including CEO and Senior Management Leaders uses Stories to communicate their goal, target, and mission. This helps them to help other employees to clearly understand the true motive and Goal that they need to fulfill together.
In contrast to above stories also communicates a lengthy and complicated message even the bad news in a simple and consumable fashion. A great leader always motivates thousands and sometimes millions of others which cannot happen efficiently without a story.
If you look around all the brands like Apple, Disney, Nike, and several others commutates a story aligned with the Company Goal.
Storytelling helps maintain the Brand Quality and Value to its Customers.
Long time ago, Advertisement and Campaigns used to be direct selling. It was rather transactional rather than relational. Now, everything has changed due to awareness and internet access.
Now selling it is all about building trust and maintaining relationship. Storytelling can also be seen in social media post, Social Campaigns, Email and Advertisement. All these communicates a story rather than selling. This is also the reason almost all brand use stories in the advertisement to reach the emotion of end customers. Now brands are also deeply participating in Social and NGO Operations to keep that emotional connect.
What is the science behind Storytelling?
Storytelling is super powerful, and you have seen this as proved in above segments. It is brilliant tool to communicate. Like everything, Storytelling also holds science behind the scenes. There are three chemicals which are super essential and are eventually triggered by the stories. Dopamine, Oxytocin, Endorphins. You will learn more about these in below sections.
Why is PowerPoint presentations Boring?
When we are not telling stories then we are only sharing data and facts which is just the information part. These triggers Cortisol and Adrenalin in our body which if released in high concentration is responsible for irritation, bad decisions, intolerant, loosing creativity and a lot more. This leads people to feel sleepy. That is why a longer presentation is simply waste of time and people are not hooked to the information it carries.
Dopamineis a chemical released in our body through suspense in the story. This creates a need to know what is next. What will happen next. This increases FOCUS and Memory at the same time motivates the listener to learn more about the story. Therefore, Stories unlike PowerPoint presentations helps maintain that Focus even for the long time and People feel connected and are alert while listening.
Oxytocin is a chemical released in your body when you build empathy for the character in the Story. When you are going through the Story and the character in the story goes through certain pain it creates empathy and releases oxytocin in your body. Oxytocin creates bonding with the character and helps build trust. Now this is something which cannot be communicated otherwise. Stories therefore have emotional touch and influences you at a personal level. Stories therefore can build that personal connection.
Endorphins is released in your body when some joke is cracked, or some funny incident is introduced in the story. There are a lot of instances when People remember the funny and crazy stuffs of the Story. A lot of brands tend to implement this. Endorphins helps relax and build creativity inside you at the same time increases your focus level. Staying relaxed helps maintain the focus at the same time brings that energy back to you which otherwise have bored you. Cracking joke while storytelling is particularly important, especially when the content is long. People love the storyteller who crack jokes. Jokes and laugh can also be maintained by the way the story is delivered. E.g.: Mimicry, demonstrating how character behaves and so on.
How to do storytelling online?
If you want to become a good Online Storyteller, you need to master these three chemicals dopamine, oxytocin, and endorphins. And here is how you can do that.
- Collect Stories: A storyteller always have a huge collection of small stories, mostly from his personal life. Start recalling and collecting these stories.
- Categories the Stories: Categorize these stories into 3 segments, namely suspense, empathy and funny. Suspense relates to dopamine; Empathy relates to Oxytocin and Funny to Endorphins.
- Always start with context: Use stories to build the context or the background or Plot of the information. This will help your Audience build deeper connection.
- Play with your Stories: Whenever you want to share the information, build suspense first to gain their Focus. If it is getting bored, crack some joke. Make your Audience laugh. And finally help them connect with you by building Empathy.
- Exercise Storytelling: Storytelling cannot be mastered in a go. You need to keep exercising wherever possible. You need to master the skill of building emotional connect.
- Going Online with Storytelling: When doing online storytelling, use images and videos to help your audience connect with the stories at a deeper level. If you are going live, you can ask them to perform certain task like commenting or asking if someone has gone through a similar situation. This will help in further building a bond with the Audience.
- Online Storytelling Live Platforms: While Facebook Live, YouTube Live the Social Platforms you can go live and test things out, you can opt for webinar tools like zoom meetings to build deeper connection with Audience with high focus grounds.
- Online Storytelling Recorded Platforms: You can record and share in public domain on YouTube. For paid community, you can use Teachable where you can ask them to participate via comments.
How to do Storytelling with Data?
Storytelling with data might not look an easy work. But if done correctly and with Focus can really make a good Story. Here is how you can use storytelling with data.
- Understand the context: Understand your Audience and their understanding. To do so, you need to get answer to 3 Questions: Who is your Audience? – Be specific on your Target Audience What you need them to do? – Be explicit How will this data help them? – Be Discerning
- Choose an effective Visual: Select a proper graph/chart or infographic to demonstrate data. Make sure it is easy to understand.
- Eliminate Clutter: It is not always important to show everything, rather just focus on what is needed for your Audience to understand the message.
- Focus on Attention: Look for data change, something like sales went low or some spike in the graph that can clearly reveal the intention.
- Tell a Story: Tell them a Story that they can relate with that part of spiked graph. It will help them relate to the situation.
And voila you are done. It was not that hard. If you keep practicing, you will see the difference and people will appreciate you and love listening to your stories.
What are the Storytelling Methods?
Here are 7 amazing storytelling methods that you can use and bring that punch to your storytelling.
- Hero and Villain: A story must have a Hero, the good side and a villain, the bad side. It need not be a character. For E.g.: A villain can be some bad understanding within the good character or a bad mindset. Hero and Villain bring contrast to the story.
- Conflict: Conflict helps to maintain that suspense which keeps the Audience focus level up. Use conflicts to bring awareness and sure to resolve them with the piece of information.
- The Flow: Stories must be told in a flow. Do not hesitate and always tell the stories like you tell stories. Be in the flow. Let them feel your Story and connect with you at a deep level.
- Visual: Add visual Elements to help your Audience relate to it at a deeper level. If you are doing online storytelling, you can use images and videos. For offline events you can use mimicry and use your body language to demonstrate character behavior.
- Make it Personal: Use real stories as far as possible. It will help you convey the message at a much personal level. It helps create bond with your Audience.
- Surprise: Add an element of surprise, crack a joke. Let them laugh. Surprises keep them active else they might get bored. Use pauses wherever applicable before revealing the surprise element. Allow them sometime to consume. If they are excited, let them have their moment for a while. Connect with them, feel them. That is the true art, science, and skill of storytelling.
Storytelling is simply sharing your information while maintaining that emotional connect which help your Audience receive the most out of it. The Top Leaders are one way or the other amazing Storytellers, who influences millions by building True and deep connection with their Audience.
Storytelling is a science, a skill that can be learnt by exercising. Next time you are speaking somewhere start with your short stories in your talk. I am 100% sure you will feel the difference. It is not about what you say. It is about what your Audience listens to, and stories are the best medium to help them understand the message as a human.
Storytelling is an skill which can help you build a digital Asset. If you are someone looking to start your Journey via working on your Passion and is keen to transform your knowledge into digital Asset and building an digital ecosystem around it, Let’s meet in my next Workshop.
Hi I am Ranvijay, a Lifestyle Entrepreneur & TRUE Passion Coach and the Founder of Passion Mantra. I am on a mission to help 100,000 People find their True Passion and transform their life living a true fulfilled Lifestyle.
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