“A story has its purpose and its path. It must be told correctly for it to be understood.”―Marcus Sedgwick
As humans, at one time or the other in our lives, we have to relate a story–storytelling. It may be about a happening or incident, a person or ourselves personally, or an institution or organization. It could be professional or for fun, as a leader, business owner, administrator, public speaker, preacher, parent, or just among our friends and colleagues.
We can’t do without telling a story. However, whenever the need arises, it needs to be done excellently, so as to pass across, the desired message. As an entrepreneur, for example, you have to constantly tell a story to sell your products and services especially when you are taking the golden path of Content Marketing.
As a passionate storyteller who wants to have a great effect on the audience or readers, there are some hacks which if utilized, can keep readers fixated on a page. More importantly, the story would have the desired effect and leave a lasting memory on their minds.
I have come up with 5 powerful ingredients which if infused into your storytelling art, would grant you a wide and loyal audience:
This should be the easy one, as a writer that loves what he or she does and has a goal to narrate for excellence. The more passionate the storyteller is, the more authentic they seem and the more compelling their story becomes. You have to be enthusiastic about what you are narrating, this makes the audience more convinced and builds their own passion too. It simply makes the story compelling and motivating.
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The words of Deepak Chopra can serve as a lodestar on this:
“Yes, in all my research, the greatest leaders looked inward and were able to tell a good story with authenticity and passion”. Storytelling needs passion.
2. A protagonist:
There needs to be a hero or protagonist in your story; somebody who can be respected and related to. Someone who is inspiring and possesses desirable qualities which are worthy of emulation. This person, community or group engages your audience as they want to see what happens to them and learn more about them. It keeps them suspended and longing for more. Note, human beings are naturally curious, we want to know what happens next.
3. An antagonist:
If there is nothing at stake, there is no story. What or who is the hero up against? There doesn’t need to be some super villain; think poverty in the community or lack of education, corruption or terrorism, youthful exuberance or an unreasonable boss, an unrewarding job or bad political terrain and so on.
There has to be an ‘enemy’ against the aspirations or circumstance of the protagonist.
What’s the “Haha!” moment in your story? A moment where people learn or realize something they otherwise wouldn’t have. Did the hero learn something? What was the meaning and rationale behind the story?
There must be a climax. A high point of understanding or sigh. This is a very integral part of a story which drives home most of the points the story aims to pass across.
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What has changed throughout the length of the story? Think about the impact, what is different and what has changed as a result of the story you are telling. Again, you don’t need to thwart some mythical villain and restore order to the universe; a personal success or any little change can be very moving. A simple narration of how the challenge was overcome, for example, how you eventually founded your first company after quitting a job or how you made your first million. This also gives hope to the readers. It inspires them. And most importantly, they yearn for more, since they feel it is worth their time and more value has been added to their lives. They may tell someone about your story or retell it. Reader loyalty is achieved. Wider readership is on the way.
Make sure these five ingredients are never lacking in your storytelling. Then, you are in for a fulfilling experience as a story-teller. As an entrepreneur, your products will never go unnoticed thus, a forward leap.
“There is no greater power on this earth than a story.”―Libba Bray, The Diviners