It's a dynamically changing world, and millions of us daily make billions of stories. More stories mean more matter that you can share.
To many people, the art of storytelling can, at first, feel complex. What is the skill required? How do you grow yourself in this field? How do you even begin?
As a storyteller, I had the same bunch of thoughts in the beginning. What do I do to establish myself as a storyteller? What's the value I can add to storytelling? But, I held on, and gradually, things started becoming clearer.
This is why I can tell you that you can be a storyteller. No matter who you are, what you do, or your educational background. You can be a storyteller if you want to be. All you need is passion, and with dynamic learning, you can master this art.
Save your time. Learn this in as little as 1 minute.
We’ve got 500+ bite-sized content to help you learn the smarter way.Download the app
What is Storytelling?
In very simple words, storytelling is the art of interacting with viewers with words and actions. It involves videos, images, and other elements that combine to give the user a wholesome experience. My experience in storytelling has made me believe that storytelling is one of the best ways you can connect to a viewer in both an intellectual and emotional manner.
Where Can We Use Storytelling?
If you think storytelling is just the art of narrating a story through audio and visual, think again. Storytelling is a massive arena that has engulfed not only the world of fiction but also the world of realism that, involves major categories like marketing and influencing.
In a nutshell, here are some major uses of storytelling:
- To attract customers
- To engage with viewers
- To build a relationship with customers
- To convey a message in a fun narrative
- To convince a user to buy a product
- To create a solid online presence
- To be viral
The science of storytelling is relatively simple yet efficient. Imagine a hypothetical subject that you need to discuss with a person. For instance, you tell them that you want them to purchase a packet of instant noodles because it's delicious. Now, there are many instant noodles in the market which are delicious. How does your product stand out?
The person might nod to your statement but will the fact convince them to buy it? Storytelling will come in handy in this case. You spin a story around the product, add an emotional value to it, and emphasise how it relates to them on a personal level. Customers don't always want just a usable product. They want a functional product that has an emotional essence to it. Get a detailed view on how storytelling works.
Let's understand how storytelling makes this happen.
Awakening the Neurological Response
Storytelling has a strong connection to the neurological response in your brain. Our brains are packed with stress hormones, cortisol, released when we face tense moments. Additionally, our brain also releases oxytocin, the chemical of feeling-good that provokes feelings of empathy.
Storytelling has two parts: the problem and the solution. You begin the story with a problem and end it with a solution, a.k.a the happy solution. I strategise my stories this way to create the correct neurological effects. When the story reaches its happy ending, the brain rewards us with dopamine that makes us feel happy and optimistic.
So, you see, the art of storytelling is a lot about how you use neurological factors to extract the right emotions from a person.
Synchronising Two Parties
Every storytelling act has two parties: the storyteller and the listener. When a person participates in storytelling, they imagine themselves in the story. A listener would always look for a place in the story, whether it's a character they can relate to or a situation they have been through in real life.
The relatability factor puts the listener and storyteller in sync with each other. Both parties are going through the same narrative, which is why their minds feel connected. This connectivity is what forms the base of a relationship between the listener and the teller. I have seen listeners get invested in stories to imagine themselves going through the story's events entirely. It's pretty fascinating.
Good storytelling skills can incite interest in the listener. But, great storytelling can persuade the listener to go beyond.
The power of storytelling lies in its persuasive performance. Usual marketing techniques generally involve a lot of convincing using arguments and appeals. But storytelling can set an entirely different game.
When you tell a story, it injects the listener's brain with new ideas. Sometimes, these ideas take the form of questions. This leads to them taking an interest in the story to find out what comes ahead. Such genuine curiosity can only be awakened through storytelling.
Another critical factor is that a story can have free interpretations. When a listener goes through the story, their own interpretation can be the core reason for persuasion. When each listener derives a moral based on their interpretation of the story, it convinces them to relate to it optimistically.
Emotional relatability is an integral part of storytelling. You cannot tell a story right even if you are not connecting it to an emotion. Stories allow the listener to peek into someone's life and form an opinion on their ideas and actions. Stories also challenge the listener's mindset.
When a person listens to stories continuously, it generates feelings of empathy. Being engaged in a story makes them more empathetic in real life. The 'moral lessons' a person learns via stories can significantly impact their behaviour and actions in real life.
How Does Storytelling Help Your Business?
A recent study showed that 78% of the corporate world believes good content is the future of successful marketing. Marketing professionals agree that branded content with a proper story performs way better than any other marketing technique.
Of course, when I say content, most people would think of social media platforms like Instagram. However, marketing via storytelling skills has scopes way beyond a simple online platform.
While most influencers and companies use storytelling as a way to influence the mass, the art of storytelling can be used even better if handled smartly. Creating content with storytelling skills that can compel the audience to follow you voluntarily, not only on social media but in both virtual and real life, is where the power resides. Wondering how to enhance your creative writing skills? Get acquainted with what writer's block is and how you can overcome it.
Nobody is interested in knowing what market strategy a company uses to enrich its follow-list. What people care about is entertainment. If you have a good story that can keep them hooked, you are set to be viral. In my search for what a target audience wants, I have found that social media advertisements can make people more sceptical.
A brand needs to use content that comes with a story. Instead of aggressively pushing the product for sales, you need to place it smartly in the context. For example, you come across a video of a dog who chews up all of the owner's stuff. It's a hilarious video, and you share it forward, only to realise after a minute of laughter that you actually watched an ad for furniture that dogs can't destroy.
Tips to Ace the Storytelling Niche
Everyone can tell a story. But, narrating a story that can engage the listener is a skill that's worth appreciating. And with every ounce of experience that I have collected, I have prepared a list of excellent tips that you can use to cultivate your storytelling skills. Learn more skills today to enhance your professional life.
You can also approach Kool Stories and learn storytelling skills at your pace with its micro courses. They have experts who can guide you through the process and a world of micro learning that can help you connect with numerous storytelling aspirants.
Without further delay, let's check out the pointers below:
Understand Your Target Audience
The first step of offering anything to an audience is to know the audience. Ask these questions to yourself:
- What is the audience looking for?
- Are they looking for short or long content?
- What is the language they are comfortable with?
- What would interest them?
- What cultural aspects can you include in the story?
- How old is your audience?
- What do they care about?
- Are they into luxury items, or are they looking for something cost-effective?
- What should be the tone of the story? Professional or casual?
- Where can you publish your story?
These questions will help you decide your target audience and how you can spin your story around their demands. It will also help you build a story that connects more to them.
Generate Emotions from the Audience
As a storyteller, I always wanted to have some drama and emotion in my story. These are the real spices that add flavour to any story. Adding emotions and drama will make the audience care. So they would want to watch the story instead of skipping it.
Still wondering what kind of emotions you should generate from your listeners? It would be best if you asked these questions:
- What will keep them interested in a story?
- How can you make the story more relevant to their real lives?
- What themes can you touch? Women's safety, free speech, climate change, animal protection, and mental health are a few of the many interesting themes you can try.
The story should matter to the audience. It should not feel like a waste of time. It should feel like it projected a vital message.
Create an Interesting Scene
In a story, context is significant, especially when capturing the audience's senses. Set a scene that provides a logical context to the audience. The last thing you want them to feel is lost.
Ask questions like:
- Where will the story take place, indoors or outdoors?
- What would be the general mood in the story? Happy? Eerie? Tragic?
- Where does the story begin?
- Would it involve multiple changes of scenes?
Including a set in the story will make the listener feel like they are in the story. More descriptive stories give a more immersive experience to the audience.
Decide the Sequence
A logical sequence to a story is significant. A story that is logically put together feels both satisfying and complete. You don't want your audience to say, "what did I just watch?" at the end of the story.
A sequence is also excellent to arouse curiosity in the audience. Nothing can be more compelling than the question "what comes next?" bothering your mind. The suspense and the tension keep the audience glued to the end of the story.
However, don't go overboard with the mystery. Extending the tension to extreme lengths can tire the audience and make them lose interest. Keep the balance, so your story doesn't turn into a Rubik's cube.
Choose a Catchy Tagline
A catchy tagline can be stuck in people's heads for ages. I know so many taglines of old movies and advertisements. All that because they ensured the slogan and the product would get straight into your consciousness.
A catchy tagline can make a story unforgettable. What's interesting is that skills like storytelling can give the listener meaningful content along with a slogan that highlights the marketing perfectly.
Engage the Audience
When a storyteller narrates a story, the goal is to erase the boundary that separates the two parties (storyteller and listener). This way, the listener feels as if you, the storyteller, are speaking directly to the listener. The connection and the closeness create a first-hand experience. It builds the desire to experience the story in real life.
Build Some Tension
When I was a teenager, I wasn't much into reading. But, once I began, I could consume books after books. The reason was the intensity with which the stories in those books were presented.
You start reading, thinking it's just a book. But, as you turn one page after another, you realise you can't stop reading until you have learned everything about the book. You forget time and space as you read word for word. That is the power of storytelling. It can make a person forget who they are and be immersed in the story.
Give a Satisfying Climax
The ending is where you reveal the most interesting part of the story, the part I call the "Dopamine Hit". Every story deserves a closure that brings the tale together. All questions must be answered, and all loopholes must be covered.
The end effect should be sheer fascination. Leave your audience in awe. If you want, you can leave a question to be answered by the audience, something they can ponder over until your next story.
Enjoy Building Your Story
Above all, enjoy telling your story. It's a beautiful process with its own set of obstacles. But, take your time to enjoy every minute of it. The experience of storytelling is nothing less than an adventure. Like an adventure, you will face different challenges. But, remember, once you overcome these challenges, your story will live forever.
How to Market and Brand with Your Story?
Marketing and storytelling collaborate to give the most intriguing content. If you can create a good story around a brand, it can push the relevance of the brand to new heights. Your story should explain these aspects of a company/brand:
- What's the objective?
- What does it stand for?
- What does it offer?
- Why is it worth trying?
Let's see how you can use storytelling to build a better brand reputation and stronger customer connections.
Express the Values of the Company Through Storytelling
When I worked for my previous company as a storyteller, they specifically asked me to let the customers know what their values and principles are as a brand.
Customers appreciate a moral sense and values in companies. They want to know that the brand they are dealing with is authentic and genuine in its approach.
Build Common Areas as the Base of Storytelling
Evaluate the target audience of the company. Now, find those common areas. For instance, find the values shared by the company and the audience. What does the audience care about, and how does it overlap with what the company cares about?
A standard narrative is excellent for creating a relatable foundation. This will help the audience connect with the story and the brand. If the brand and the audience want affordable travelling, make that the highlighted theme of your story. Add a tagline that focuses on such common areas of interest.
Add a Proper CTC to the Story
A CTC or a call-to-action defines who the story is for. Without a CTC, the audience will have no idea about the company. A brilliantly placed CTC can increase click rates and follow-ups.
Storytelling is an art that connects the audience on a very personal level. Some of the most well-known brands use storytelling as a marketing tool. As a result, they have broadly enjoyed the attention of the mass. In return, the audience has felt a sense of belonging to these brands.
KoolStories can help you build, improve, and upgrade your storytelling skills and more. While many social sites rely on your time without providing any productivity, KoolStories ensures that you get value for the time spent. Join us for free and enter a whole new world of micro learning where you get to learn to your heart's desire.