We are made up of stories. All human beings have their timeline and on it the most widely recorded piece of information is stories. Storytelling is an art, not science. You see there are two things that our mind remembers:
Facts and stories take some time to register in our subconscious minds. This period is called the memory consolidation period. Now, this can vary from person to person and one situation to another. Once we digest it then it’s very easy to recall it. Stories without emotions or a surprise element can lead to selective amnesia. Which means that it’s very difficult to reminisce them. Emotions give the stories life and surprise (beginning and end) gives a reason for the person to internalize it. Storytelling is an art and anyone can master it. You need not use stories everywhere, for example, say that you are preparing a 5-year business plan for your company. On the other hand, you can use storytelling when you are crafting the vision of your company.
There are 3 steps to structure your stories:
Your story clearly needs to fill a gap. For example, say that elections seasons are on and you need to talk about a person. Now this person is the hero of the story. (It could have been a thing also) Once you establish the context (say a recent speech by the candidate) you need to slowly build up the story. There clearly must be an obstacle(s) that is preventing the hero from reaching the objective. Remember all stories must have objectives. If you start a story without one, it won’t work out. Now the protagonist and his/her goals are set. So now we move to the next section.
Here you detail the scenes, the circumstances and the flow of the story. You bring in a lot of people and things around the hero. You amplify the impediments and make way for the hero to tackle it. If you ask a kid what storytelling is – his/her clear answer would be Beginning-Middle-End. It’s this middle part that is filled up with the twists and turns. This stage of storytelling relies a lot on special effects (video and music) and revealing the plot slowly. One by one, the story spirals into the end; normally a happy ending where good wins and bad loses.
This is the effect of the story on other people. You see if you say complicated things from a rule book (like say company policies) then people tend to get confused. However, if you show them the path and the outcome by creating a story, that would be very effective. People will remember you not for a particular thing, but for how you made them feel. Hence super-charge your stories with emotions. The result is to achieve the objective that a person set out with and feeling the impact. Outcomes are guaranteed if you keep your audience engaged.
Great stories are real. Our language and stories should be concrete. If you have plugged in all the aforesaid points into your story, you will certainly excel. Storytelling is a contagious disease. So, spread it as much as you can.
To your success …
God Bless !