4 tips for awesome storytelling

I just had a super cool experience on a train, and a good business lesson. I wanted to make a video for it right away – sorry the quality ain’t the best. It’s kinda late, it’s dark, but I wanted to share this message.

Storytelling is so powerful. It’s how we passed info down from generations to generations waaaaaaay before we started writing things down, so we’re programmed to love stories. They’re far more captivating than dry facts and figures.

Weaving storytelling into your sales and marketing is a great way to connect with people and keep them engaged.  Plus, it’s fun!
 

But telling a story that captivates is something special.

On this train ride, I sat next to someone who had the incredible skill of storytelling. I break down the for lessons for creating an engaging story.

Normally, I’m not a person who chats on a train.

I’m usually in my own little world with my headphones in, listening to a podcast or an audio book.  This time though, keeping to myself wasn’t an option.

Picture this.

So this guy boards the train, he sits down.

It’s a little cold, so he started to rub his hands together to warm up. Looks at me and says, “When I moved here in 2008 from Senegal, I dreamed of seeing snow. Do you remember what happened in 2008?” 

Do I remember? We had a huge snowstorm that year, and this is a place where we get snow maybe two or three days a year, so it’s pretty devastating when it happens. We think it’s the apocalypse. So yeah, he got his wish.

Of course, when he asked if I remembered what happened in 2008, that’s something I couldn’t ignore. I had to jump in right away.

That’s my first tip – engage your audience. A simple question is a great way to do that.

Tip 1: Engage

Then he went on, “And after I’d been here for a month, I got – my dream job!”

Well I had to know because, really, I’d been working here for my whole life and I didn’t get my dream job until I made it for myself.

Tip 2: Create curiosity

Draw people in. Make people curious as to what’s coming next.

Because don’t  you want to know what his dream job was after he’d been here for only a month?

Then, he went back to a question (always a good way to keep people engaged) and asked me, “Do you know what that was?”

No, I definitely didn’t.

He continued,  “My dream job…. was working at Safeway in the deli… making… sandwiches.” 

K, so that isn’t most people’s dream job, but I was still enchanted by it partly because the delivery was so incredible.

He created so much anticipation, especially by drawing… things… out. Using pauses effectively can really pull people in and make them hang off of your every word.

Tip 3: Build anticipation

He went on to tell me about he loved to see all the kids come by after school because they were so excited to see him and get their sandwiches. They would wait in line to see him and he loved it. He adored connecting with people. He knew that he was giving them what they wanted and that made him truly happy.

He was so enthusiastic when he talked about it – which, actually, is the last tip.

Tip 4: Show enthusiasm

Let’s recap.  To tell a great story, the content does not need to be the most mind-blowing – delivery does! Your delivery can really make or break a story.

To tell an awesome story,
1. Create engagement
2. Create curiosity
3. Build anticipation
4. Show enthusiasm

 

Thanks for joining me on this tale about storytelling!

To legendary stories,

I’d love to hear from you – what’s your favorite tricks to tell a story? Or, if you want to share a great story, I’d love to hear it! Drop me a line in the comments below.  Can’t wait to hear your story!

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