Throughout time, the greatest speakers and teachers have illuminated their lessons by telling powerful stories. Storytelling is a great way to engage your audience and show them how your theme, point, or lesson specifically relates to them. Unfortunately, not everyone is born a great storyteller, and some stories are better than others. Follow these 7 steps to deliver great stories every time!
1. Know your audience and make sure your story is appropriate
When telling stories, it’s very important to know who you’re telling it to and get an idea of how they might react to it. Age group, professional level and culture are extremely important factors; make sure your story is appropriate for your audience. Even when you’re telling a “tried and true” story, what might be appropriate and funny to one group might be off-putting and unacceptable to another. Be careful when choosing the topic of your story and the language you will use to present it.
2. Make your story relatable
The themes of the stories should be broad enough for anyone to relate to. This tactic is also used in stand-up comedy. The funniest comedians take everyday situations that everyone experiences and make light of it. This is what makes a good story. It has a plot that everyone can relate to, a theme that is simple, direct, and illustrative of the lesson. If you’ve chosen the right story and presented it correctly, you’ll see light bulbs go on over your listeners’ heads. If you have to say, “I guess you had to be there,” you haven’t told a clear and effective story!
3. Write your story when it’s first introduced, and cut it in half
I’ve seen too many speakers go on and on about things that I just want to stand up and yell, “Can you just sum up this long story?” When you plan to tell a story for the first time, write it the way you want to present it, and then cut it in half. Remember the KISS philosophy: Keep it short and simple. Give us the nuts and bolts and nothing else. Sometimes storytellers get wrapped up in details, usually because they experienced the situation and found those details relevant. But usually the details of what she was wearing at the time and where she bought that outfit don’t add to the lesson or plot of the story.
4. Have a clear link between your story and your lesson
A story is only worth telling if it has an obvious link to the topic being taught. We all know from common conversation how annoying it is to hear someone’s long story only to wonder why it was shared at the end. Effective speakers have a very clear link between the moral of their stories and the topic at hand. If this link is missing, the story is useless and your listeners wonder what it’s for.
5. Engage your listener by engaging the senses
A good storyteller engages all of our senses. We could hear you tell a funny story about ice cream, and that would be nice, but what if you could make us taste that ice cream, feel its creamy consistency on our tongues, visualize the mess that has formed on your face as a child, and so on. . That’s what will make his story great and memorable.
6. Take audience cues into account when telling your story
As a speaker, you should always be aware of the audience’s response. The attentive speaker will always know when the audience is losing interest and will make appropriate changes in the presentation of the story, the language used, the theme, or even the final moral or punchline. Different audiences will not always react to the same story in the same way. No matter how well you do your homework, you can still have problems. Be flexible and have a backup plan if your story doesn’t go as well as planned.
7. Tell your story with some feeling!
The key to an incredible story is in its delivery. A passionate storyteller will get a much more enthusiastic response from listeners than a boring one! Use variations in pitch, volume, and intonation to keep the story interesting to listen to. Be sure to pause at the right times for dramatic effect and draw the audience in with mystique and excitement.