Grandma always had the best stories. She could make them up on the spot or tell us ones she remembered from her own childhood. Either way, we were always captivated. It’s a cherished part of childhood that often stays with us forever. And now that we’re adults, we can see just how special those storyteller moments were.
Think about the last time you told a story. Was it as good as Grandma’s? Probably not. But that’s okay! Telling stories is a skill that can be learned with practice. Here are a few tips to help you become a better storyteller:
Know your audience
Before telling a story, think about who you will tell it to. Is your audience familiar with the characters and setting? Do they need a refresher? What kind of language will they understand? Understanding your audience is key to being a good storyteller.
For example, if you’re telling a story to young children, you’ll want to use simpler language and sentences. You’ll also want to ensure the story is appropriate for their age group. On the other hand, if you’re telling a story to adults, you can get away with using more complicated language and concepts.
It’s also important to consider why your audience is interested in hearing the story in the first place. What do they hope to gain from it? Are they looking for entertainment, or are they trying to learn something? What kind of story would they most enjoy? A funny one? A heartwarming one? A suspenseful one?
Once you know what kind of story you want to tell, craft it in a way that will keep your listeners engaged. Start with a strong opening and ensure each subsequent point flows logically from the last. It’s also important to use descriptive language and paint a picture with your words. The more vivid the details, the more likely your listeners will be transported into the world you’ve created.
Use your own voice
No matter how easy it is to take other people’s words in your own mouth or use quote cards, those aren’t your original ideas. In a world where everyone is trying to be unique, the last thing you want is to sound like everyone else. Everyone else is already taken, and the best way to ensure your voice is heard is to use your own words.
It may sound cliche, but it’s true; everyone is unique and has their own perspective to share. You can’t be a good storyteller if you’re not being authentic.
- Practice using your own voice by journaling. Write about your day-to-day experiences and thoughts without filtering yourself. This will help you get in touch with your natural storytelling voice.
- Listen to other people’s stories and take note of the elements that resonate with you. Then, incorporate those elements into your own stories.
Be Honest Even If It’s Scary
It’s hard to be honest, especially when sharing your fears and emotions. But being honest is important, even if it’s scary. When you’re honest, you’re more likely to connect with others and build trust. And when you’re more open, people are more likely to understand and empathize with you.
It’s much easier to talk about the surface-level stuff or only the good things that happened. But what happens in everyday life can be scary, and people can respect your vulnerability more than you can imagine. Being honest and telling our stories can help others feel less alone. And when we share our stories, we’re also opening up the possibility for connection and healing.
So, even though it might be tough, try to be honest about your fears and emotions. It could make a world of difference in your storytelling experience.
Don’t Aim For Perfection
It’s a common misconception that you must strive for perfection to be a good storyteller. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Striving for perfection can actually hinder your storytelling ability.
Here’s why: when you’re focused on making everything perfect, you cannot be present at the moment and react to what’s happening around you. You cannot take in all the little details that make a story great.
Furthermore, it leads to overthinking, second-guessing yourself, self-doubt and even anxiety, which can sabotage your storytelling. When telling a story, be fully present at the moment and connect with your audience on a personal level. This presence will make your stories more engaging and memorable.
Don’t Forget Your Tribe
We all have a story. A story that we share with the world. But we sometimes forget that our story doesn’t exist in a vacuum. It’s intertwined with the stories of the people around us. The people who make up our tribe.
Your tribe is the group of people who have helped shape your story. Through good times and bad, they have been by your side. The ones who believe in you, even when you don’t believe in yourself.
So don’t forget about your tribe. Return the favor and let them know how much you value them. They’ve earned it.
Storytelling is a personal craft that can be mastered with practice. You can learn to narrate engaging stories that people will love. It can help you connect with others, communicate your ideas more effectively, and make a lasting impression.
Practice telling stories aloud, pay attention to how other people tell stories, and try to incorporate elements of suspense, humor, and emotion into your own tales but don’t copy their style. Remember, there’s a difference between taking inspiration and plagiarism.