Humans have an incredibly powerful connection to stories. It seems that, evolutionarily, they're a key part of how our brains developed. To this day, stories have the potential to be the best way for people to understand even complex data in an evocative, memorable way. In a digital world, there are more ways to share powerful stories than ever before.
1. What Makes A Great Story?
Stories are powerful ways to solidify and bring vague thoughts, feelings or concepts people might be struggling to grasp into sharper focus. Great stories are entertaining - they keep audiences engaged. An interesting anecdote or analogy is much more effective at grasping attention than a dry deck of slides or a spreadsheet. Good stories should also seek to educate, to leave the audience better off for having heard the story somehow. Your story will resonate more with your audience if you strive to hit universal themes that will instantly strike a chord. They should be told with focus, stick in the minds of the audience, and not stray too far off topic.
2. How Not To Use The Power Of Storytelling
Stories that bore an audience, that aren't relevant to them or teach them something interesting, or that are simply overt sales pitches, will instantly seem 'off', and could actually end up disengaging potential customers. Meandering tales without a clear theme or moral are also not effective.
3. Different Types Of Storytelling
The internet has made it far easier to tell compelling stories. There are many different ways for you to construct powerful narratives. A reliable, tried and tested method is simply writing it down: blogging is a prominent example of how millions of people and businesses all over the world connect with potential clients. The power of video is growing day by day, though, with tech giants Google and Facebook tweaking their algorithms to give prominence to this medium. TED Talks have been viewed millions of times, and their entire focus is the power of connecting engaging storytellers with a curious, interested audience. Another option is the world of audio storytelling: podcasting has rapidly grown in popularity in recent years. Some blend of all these methods could be employed for an immersive approach to storytelling.
4. How Do You Know If Your Storytelling Is Working?
An easy way to tell whether your storytelling is having the desired effect is to look at the statistics: have your acquisition stats improved? Are potential customers engaging more, sharing posts and taking part in lively discussions? Do you stick more prominently in their minds? Are sales booming? Any number of these factors are worth looking at. To fully unlock the power of storytelling, it takes a willingness to constantly tweak and adapt the way you share your message.