It’s often assumed that just because we’ve all got great stories and experiences that we’re inherently good at telling stories. The truth is not all of us are able to quickly organize and share the memories we keep yet we’d like to tell our loved ones of adventures we’ve had throughout our lives. Many stories go untold for two simple reasons; no one ever asked, or you didn’t know how to truly express this monumental moment in your life through storytelling. Don’t worry we’ve got you covered. Here’s a few tips and tricks for sharing a special story with your special people.
Format and structure run rampant in just about anything and everything we do. Storytelling is no different. Think of your favorite movie- There’s 3 main components that reeled you in and kept you there for 2 hours. A great story has a set up, conflict, and resolution.
Set Up: Include the important characters, setting, and connections within these factors
Conflict: Every great story has a challenge, threat, or a seemingly impossible task that needs to be conquered.
Resolution: What ends up happening after the conflict has been taken head on. In other words, the FINALE!
Of course this seems simple and it should! However, many storytellers lose their audience by spending too much time in the set up. They tell you about the one cloud in the sky and the green shoes they were wearing when, all along, they were trying to tell you about a 3 legged dog they saw in a tutu! While visual details can enrich the listeners’ connection with the story, it can also cause confusion and boredom if we’re detailing elements that are insignificant.
Keep the story simple enough for a ten year old to understand, but detailed enough to paint a picture.
Use emotion! But don’t over do it. The more emotion you use, the better your punch line should be. Storytellers often over dramatize the build up and conclude with something that’s so anticlimactic the listener is disappointed! Try to let the emotion you were feeling in the moment the experience happened come out while talking/writing. Maybe you were happy, or moved, or saddened by the moment you’re explaining. Let that come out, but don’t force it. When we allow our minds to go back into the place we’re explaining, we naturally come off more authentic and connect better with the listener.
Storytelling is a timeless form of communication and connection. Don’t let another story disappear because you weren’t sure how to tell it. Keep the beginning simple, explain why the conflict was so difficult and make sure to include the resolution. You got this.
Here’s a wonderful blog I love that might help you get started: