How to Begin Mastering the Art of Storytelling
By Abibe Azizi, Account Director, Spring 2021
What type of content engages you the most? Statistics or stories? Which do you remember most and which leaves a greater impact on you? The power of storytelling is a tale as old as time, but is still one of the most effective and efficient methods to get the audience to act on your point. Here are the three tips that will help you start:
Know Everything About Your Audience
This is something I am constantly working on. Everything is so much easier when you take the time to truly research and understand your audience. If you can do this, you become the master of your crowd and can convince them to do whatever you want them to. The power of persuasion lies within this first task. Identifying and researching your target audience is the first step to telling a story.
Write Clearly and Avoid Jargon
I’m sure many of us can relate to this, but I used to be guilty of trying to sound fancy and complicated in my writing because I thought that it made me sound smarter. What I have realized, however, is that complicated writing is only going to alienate your audience. It will make you sound pretentious. People trust your writing when they can relate to it and understand it easily. So, write simply and concisely and always get to the point.
Write Stories, Not Essays
Lastly, make it a point to write stories and not essays. You do not want your writing to read like a term paper. This is probably the hardest tip to practice because a lot of us have always been taught to write an essay (the standard five paragraph essay) that reads exactly like a term paper. If you stick to this, your writing will be limited. When writing, just tell a story. You don't have to start at the beginning and it is okay to write your first few paragraphs last. With that, mention the key takeaways in the beginning of the story. Readers are impatient and you have to assume that they might not finish reading your work. Start with takeaways then explain how you got there.
While some people are natural storytellers others need to work on it, just like any skill. If you are one of those people, just practice by following the steps outlined above as a guide: know your audience, write clearly, and avoid writing essays.