Behind every successful brand, business, and movement is an amazing storyteller. What exactly does a storyteller do? To put it simply, a great storyteller is able to effectively communicate an idea. Whether the goal is to educate or to entertain, there are a few factors that separate the good storytellers from the great.
Great Storytellers Engage Their Audience
The most important thing when sharing with an audience is keeping them actively engaged. You could have an absolutely groundbreaking concept to share, but if you cannot keep the audience engaged, your message will be lost. Using the element of surprise is a great way to keep the audience engaged. Meaning, you don’t want to give away all of your main points right in the beginning. Plan out your story or speech in a way that reveals the information only as the audience needs to know it. You want the audience to stay on the edge of their seats, wanting to know more.
They Relate On a Personal Level
People connect better to real-life situations that they can relate to. It is important as a storyteller to take the time and get to know your audience. For example, you can present the same topic to a room full of high school students as you do to a room full of business executives. However, you would want to present in a way that is easy for teenagers to understand and relate to when speaking to high school students. It may also be more appropriate to incorporate humor and anecdotal stories when speaking to certain audiences over others.
A Great Storyteller Interacts With The Audience
Have you ever sat in a business conference or seminar and wanted to fall asleep? This is typically due to the fact that it feels like the presenter is talking at you, and not being a good storyteller. It’s highly important that what you share does not come across as just a lecture. Storytellers create a shared experience where the audience is an active participant. A tell-tale sign that your audience engaged is any type of audible reaction. Laughter, cheering, or clapping let you know that your audience is engaged, and should be encouraged when appropraite.
They Create an Experience Worth Sharing
Whether your goal is to inspire, to teach, or to entertain, every great storyteller wants their message to be spread long after it’s been shared. A great storyteller could share to a small audience of 100 people, but their message could quickly be spread to thousands, simply by word of mouth. If your message is delivered properly and with good intention, people are going to share it with others.
Anyone can become a storyteller. However, there are some key elements that separate the good from the great. Don’t let your own self-doubt limit your potential. Strive to get out of your comfort zone, and you will see what you are truly capable of. Share your story and watch how it can impact the world around you.