Today I’m going to share with you a secret method of the delivery of information to the reader, which I constantly use myself. It is called storytelling.
Try to be honest with me and tell me what are usually reading with interest: articles which tell you about real life situations and are followed by somebody’s example or a dull story overloaded with facts and definitions?
Obviously, if you are going to participate in a scientific conference, you’ll have to deal with specialized literature which cannot be called very interesting. However, why do you need to complicate other things?
My aim is to make my articles interesting, simple and understandable, that’s why I try to fill them with situations that have happened to me, my relatives or acquaintances.
If your occupation is related to writing in some way (journalism, copywriting, managing your own website etc.), you’ll definitely have to try the method of storytelling in order to attract more readers.
Moreover, this method can be also used by businessmen and officials in order to communicate with their staff.
So, what is this method really about?
Actually, everything is much simpler than you could have ever thought.
What is storytelling?
Do you know the origin of fairy-tales and legends?
The first writers knew that writing an instructive piece of text or a bare historical reference is not enough. In order to make your story popular and impressive, you have to use understandable language and vividly depict the characters.
It really doesn’t matter whether you’ll invent your own characters or embellish real historical persona. Your aim is to make your story interesting and true-to-life.
This very same method is used by modern writers if they want to share some facts with their audience: they tell interesting stories. That’s exactly how the name of this method is called in English – storytelling.
What is storytelling?
It is an effective method of the delivery of information to the reader by telling a thought-provoking, touching or witty story with either real or fake characters.
Despite the fact that this method is not brand new, it has been first introduced by the head of the US Armstrong International, David Armstrong.
He used storytelling for the improvement of his company functioning and the training of the newly employed staff.
The results of this method were so impressive that Armstrong decided to share them with others, so he wrote his “Managing by Storying Around” where he described his own way of storytelling.
Free writing – in search of extraordinary ideas
Storytelling: what goals can you achieve?
“The power of speech is the ability to express a lot in a few words”.
As I’ve mentioned above, storytelling can be applied in different spheres of life: managing your own website, running your business, communicating with your staff, sales promotion, psychotherapy, coaching, etc.
With the help of storytelling you can achieve different goals, such as:
- Influencing the consciousness of your audience.
- Delivering the necessary information at once without awakening such thoughts as: “What did the author mean by that?”
- Teaching your new employees usual duties and rules of your staff in the most effective and quickest way.
- Minimizing the amount of conflicts among your employees and improving relationships between your employees.
- Encouraging other people to achieve the goals they set before themselves.
For example, Armstrong, the founding father of storytelling, used the stories of success of some of his employees in order to encourage others to follow their example.
- Consolidating the authority of the boss and increasing the trust of his employees towards him.
- Saving up on the material reward for the staff.
If you think a bit, you’ll remember that Soviet newspapers were filled with stories of dairymaids, miners, tractor drivers and other workers who exceeded all possible norms.
People were ready to work at full stretch in order to repeat such success.
- Proving that your recommendations are truly effective because you can name people who followed them and reached success.
- Selling the product.
For example, Masha used some facial lotion and got rid of her wrinkles, and so will you if you also use the same lotion.
As you can see, you can achieve many different goals with the help of storytelling.
However, keep in mind that your story has to be told correctly if you want to have a proper effect on the audience. Thus, you have to learn basic rules of storytelling.
Storytelling: 10 rules to keep in mind
There is no doubt that if you want your story to influence the reader, you have to own the talent of a writer or a narrator.
Nobody finishes reading dull semiliterate texts. The same goes with a narration – if a storyteller mutters and mixes up words, he/she has a chance to spoil even the best possible story.
There exist a few basic rules of text writing:
- Brevity is the soul of wit.
You are not Lev Tolstoy, thus, you don’t have to create multivolume works.
If we talk about narration, keep in mind that a person can perceive information for no more than 20 minutes in a row, after which he/she needs a bit of rest.
- You have to come up with a vivid character that will surely catch your audience’s interest.
- Don’t write stories with an open ending.
Keep in mind that your purpose consists in sharing some useful information with your readers instead of making them wonder about the continuation of the story.
- Your story must not be boring.
It has to awaken the interest and make a reader want to read further.
- Don’t impose your own opinion on the reader.
Your influence has to be tender.
Your story has to make the readers say: “I want to!”
If you repeat the words: “You must to” throughout the whole story, you’ll end up with the resistance from your readers.
- Influence your reader’s emotions.
Arise laughter, joy, sympathy, fear, anger and avoid making your reader indifferent towards your story.
- Adjust your text to a definite audience.
Remember that you will never be able to catch the interest of all people at once.
- Use nice metaphors and other figures of speech but don’t forget about the actual purpose of your story.
- Don’t distance yourself from your audience; try to make contact with your readers.
Texts that say: “I’m a cool big boss while you’re a stupid jerk” will only irritate your readers.
- If we’re talking about printed materials, try to use illustrations in order to attract the reader’s attention and ease the comprehension.
Indeed, storytelling is an effective method of influencing your audience, but you have to use it properly!
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