We all have our own individual stories, but not everyone knows how to tell them. A person could have the greatest story in the world, but without the ability to present it well, no one will want to listen to it.
As the best practitioners know, whether they be filmmakers, authors, or comedians, storytelling is a skill that takes a lot of work to develop.
But don’t worry! That doesn’t mean it’s impossible to become a good storyteller.
While you may never be considered the next Homer (think The Iliad, not The Simpsons), here are a few tips on how you can become a better storyteller.
Know Your Audience
Before you can begin to write your story, it’s important to understand the people you’re telling it to.
Who are they? What are their interests? What are their needs?
When you know your audience, you can develop your narrative in a way that resonates and connects with them. Telling your story should feel like an interactive experience.
If there is no value for the listener, then your story can potentially fall on deaf ears
Stick to Your Story
Have you ever heard (or, in this case, read) the saying “Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt”? The same applies to storytelling.
It’s important not to overreach and try to speak on something you know little or nothing about. Otherwise, your audience will begin to question your expertise and your credibility will be compromised.
Rather than worry about what you don’t know, utilize what you do know.
As with all talents, storytelling requires constant practice in order to stay sharp. Even the best singers in the world have to do their warm-ups. The best way to practice is to go out there and keep telling stories.
By continuing to go out and present your ideas, you’re able to learn what’s working and what’s not. This insight will allow you to fine-tune your performance and cut out the excess material.