Storytelling can be an important tool to use when trying to communicate with others.
With stories, you can entertain others or bring them to action depending on the story and how well you tell it. Whether you’re trying to teach your children not to be afraid of the dark or you’re selling a product, learning how to be a good storyteller can bring you greater success in your endeavor.
Here are some tips that will help you become a better storyteller:
- Read, read, and read some more. You’ll stand a better chance of becoming a good storyteller if you’re exposed to good stories. Think back to the stories you enjoyed as a child or authors that held your imagination. Use those stories as guidelines for creating your own.
- Write everything down. If you write down your experiences, things you’ve heard others say, or dreams you have had, you may be able to incorporate some of that into your stories.
- Don’t limit yourself. Maybe you’re interested in storytelling to entertain your children. Start writing your stories down or record them as you tell them to your children. You may decide to create a book of stories much the way Frank Baum did with the OZ stories or C.S. Lewis did with The Chronicles of Narnia.
- Stick with what you know. Tell stories about something you’re passionate about. When you know your subject matter, it’s easier to weave a story. Create your stories based on people you know but change the names to protect the innocent.
- Determine what you want to communicate. If you’re telling a story to children, your purpose will be to entertain and teach them. If you’re using a story to help you sell something, your purpose will be to elicit an emotional response. The reasons for each story are entirely different.
- Think of your audience. Keep a story simple for children and increase it’s complexity with older audiences. Children have a shorter attention span than adults, so short stories work better with them. Too many details or a story taking too many detours also bogs down children. Keep it simple.
- Pay attention to the world around you. Have you noticed a need that’s not being met? You could tell a story to call others to action. If you’re a business owner, you might be able to use a popular trend as a basis for a story on your website. Or if you’re a stay-at-home mom, you might be able to use a tip you learned from another mom to tell a story to your kids.
- Learn to stick to the important facts. Storytellers, especially new storytellers, have a tendency to go down rabbit holes that have nothing to do with their story. By straying from the story, you’ll lose your audience’s attention. Try writing your story down on paper first; you’ll be more likely to remain focused.
- Consider taking acting lessons. Acting lessons will help you learn to bring your story to life. Use different voices for the characters in the story and practice your improvisational skills.