This Magic Monday, we look at the power of storytelling and the connection it gives us to each other. Here are three ways to deliver a compelling narrative.
Who doesn’t love a good story? When Disney released “Hamilton” to their streaming service last year, one of the lines from the Broadway sensation that stood out to me was: “Who lives, who dies, who tells your story?”
Stories have an extremely profound effect on our minds and an invaluable ability to connect us to the past and each other. They allow us to identify with various characters and become engulfed in their worlds. So, is there a secret to telling good stories? How can we better incorporate stories in our everyday conversation?
Author and CEO of Executive Speaking Inc., Anett Grant, insists that compelling narratives require three basic elements, summarized below:
1. Build Anticipation
“Your audience wants to know where you’re going,” Grant describes. “The more your listeners can anticipate where you’re going, the more engaged they become.”
Think of movie trailers – allowing a glimpse of what is to come early on does the exact opposite of “ruining the surprise.”
2. Share Personal Experiences
“It’s been one of those days” is a phrase that can build instant sympathy. Why? Because we’ve all had one! That day where nothing seems to go right, and you’re unable to find a good headspace.
As listeners, when we identify with a personal emotion or shared experience, it can build an instant connection and give us the sense that we’re not alone.
3. Keep it Short
Deciding what’s important to include and exclude can help avoid confusing – or worse – losing your audience. A few things to ask yourself are:
- Why am I telling this story?
- Does this part matter to my listeners?
- Will it affect their reception or understanding at all?
Depending on the circumstance, it’s a great idea to plan your story ahead of time. Start to notice how it can be easy to connect with people and create even more personalized moments of magic with a quick story or two.
What are some stories you might share?