How to Influence Even the Skeptics With these 5 Keys to Storytelling

Great stories can lead your audience/clients/customers to see both themselves and their world in new ways and have a thoughtful reflection. It has a unique power to make a meaningful impact on your audience as they appeal to their emotions, memories and imaginations.

Here are some insights you’ll need to weave into your approach of delivering your message.

• Identify and understand the outcome you are aiming for.

Your story needs to have a clear outcome for your listeners. It has to have a purpose and make a point. You should always keep in mind the information you want the audience to take away. Understanding the outcome you are aiming for allows you to craft engaging stories based around compelling messages that people want to hear about.

• Give your audience a story that is interesting, meaningful and engaging.

No matter how significant your message is, you can’t share them to your listeners effectively unless you give them reason to care for what you’ve got to say. You have to get their attention by talking about something they are interested in. Keep them on the edge of their seat to engage their hearts and minds to your story.

• Build tension and anticipation.

Make your listeners wonder ‘What will happen next?’; ‘Will you be all right?’; ‘Will there be a resolution?’; ‘Will my own problem be solved?’. To build tension, you can introduce a concept or an incident early on. The concern for the character and curiosity to know the outcome of the story will increase the reader’s anticipation to find out what happens next.

• Connect with each person in the room so they connect with you.

Offer the listener a chance to see themselves in your story. The more the audience is involved in your story, the more memorable and valuable your message becomes.

• Let the audience step into your story and remember it.

A good way to convey your message is to trigger a memory and raise a familiar, shared experience. This connects your listener’s lives to the story, thus making the story memorable.

If you take into account these five points, you give the listeners the opportunity to change perception and inspire a positive change.

This is an extract of Sam Cawthorn’s latest book ‘Storyshowing – How to stand out from the storytellers’.

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