In this article we are going to talk about the 10 ways to improve your storytelling skills. Having to go up on a platform and share your story with an audience, who may or may not be interested in a huge task. The storyteller not only has to focus on his story but there are so many aspects that he/she must focus on simultaneously and miss out even on one of it can extremely bore the audience. It is not easy to hold the attention of your audience for a long time, let alone grabbing their attention in the first place. As a storyteller, you should have the ability to make the audience want to listen to you talk, peak their interests and make them take back away from the story, whatever you intended to convey in the first place. If your story resonates with your audience, it is a sign that you have done your job well and conveyed all that was on your mind to a group of people effectively.
10 Best Ways to Improve your Storytelling Skills
In this article, I will be talking about some ways on which you can improvise your storytelling skills which is highly important be it in a casual setting with your friends, or in a business meeting because you should be able to turn their ears to you as you speak.
1. Have a good start to the story
Your first impression is what lasts forever, and therefore you must ensure that your story has a good opening. Use a catchy phrase or a hook that will gain all the attention of the audience immediately. Don’t dive straight into the topic or the main crux of the story, give a build-up for your story and take it step by step. Make your opening statement strong and interesting and something that will arise curiosity amongst the audience and will make them want to listen to more of your story. You can also use a punchline which will build an exciting atmosphere and make the audience more cheerful and interested in your story.
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2. Engage your audience
Turn every chance to talk to interact with your audience into an opportunity to create something interesting. Keep them engaged with your thoughts and ideas and glued to your presence. An effective storyteller carefully listens, engages and interacts with their audience and takes in every chance to strike a conversation with them. If you are not able to engage your audience, you must try to change your style of storytelling and make it more interesting. Ask your audience interactive questions and use their answers to create some path to add on to your story.
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3. Maintain a strong and confident body language
When you are the centre of attention, the focus of your audience is entirely on you and it is imperative for you to maintain body language as it speaks louder than your words. Keep walking around and don’t be fixated on a single spot. Maintain strong eye contact with your audience and use a variation in your facial expressions, that goes hand in hand with your story, rather than just sticking to one expression. Try and use your hands as you speak, which makes it more appealing. Establish a connection with your audience through your story and make them feel every bit of it as you narrate it, this is how you will be able to convey your thoughts to your audience.
4. Modulate your tone
As you address your audience, have a variation in the tone you use rather than maintaining the same monotonous tone which would result in a platitudinal atmosphere. Change the frequency of your voice according to the situation being narrated in the story. Neither maintain a very low tone which makes it difficult for the audience to hear nor too loud which makes it uncomfortable for the audience to hear. If you follow an effective modulation plan, your audience will be all ears throughout your story and the chances of them losing interest are lessened.
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5. Be as spontaneous as you can
Spontaneity is a crucial aspect to be kept in mind when you are addressing a crowd. There will be several opportunities presented before you which you can turn into an effective crowd puller, if you have the required skills to be spontaneous. Things do not go as per the plan always and unexpected turns are what will define your entire story at the end of it. These are the moments that will resonate with your audience and make them remember the moment you narrated your story. Be creative as well and think out of the box to tackle situations that can turn the entire course of the story.
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6. Practice narrating your story
Practice makes man perfect and storytelling is an art that requires immense practice to get the right delivery at the right time. Be well prepared with your story and have a clear idea of thoughts in your head to avoid any confusion at the time of narration. If you are not clear about what you want to deliver, your audience will not be able to develop a clear picture of your thoughts and the message you want to convey. Practice the narration with the exact pauses and modulations. The more you practice, the better you will be able to communicate your story, without any hesitation or stammering.
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7. Have a story with good content
People will only hear you out when you have something valuable to share, which will add on to their interest and prove to be beneficial for them. Narrate a story with a good point which would make your audience think in different perspectives and widen their scope of thoughts. Create momentum and maintain it throughout the storytelling process which will help you keep your audience captivated. Only when your content is worthy of narration and being shared, you will be closer to making it resonate with your audience. The takeaway from the story for your audience must be very high, only then will they be interested in knowing what you want to share.
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8. Don’t make it too technical
As a storyteller, you need to deliver your content in such a manner that it reaches every one of them and they can understand it well enough. You must ensure to maintain a simple language without using very complicated words or highly technical language which may not be suited for everyone’s understanding. The moment you begin to get very technical, your audience will start experiencing a disconnect from you and your story and will deviate entirely from the crux of the story.
Share your thoughts and first-hand feelings in a sequential manner, so it is easy for your audience to follow. Cite several real-life examples and relate it with your story, so that the audience is aware of how it can be applied in their lives. Build a suspenseful atmosphere through the course of the story and make sure that the end is not abrupt and answers to all the questions of your audience, rather than leaving them ambiguous.
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9. Know your audience
You must deliver the appropriate content to the right set of people, rather than just blindly narrating a story to which your audience doesn’t relate. Create an atmosphere in which they feel comfortable and make it as interactive as possible. Don’t mismatch your content and audience as it will result in an immediate fall in interest from your audience. Try ad narrate stories that your audience can relate to and look up to rather than something which they don’t feel the connection with. By doing so, you will be able to create a better and stronger impact on them with a larger chunk of your story resonating with them. You will be able to gain attention only when you talk something relevant and useful to their lives.
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10. Enjoy the process
You are the storyteller and you have the power to control the entire flow of events. It is your responsibility to make your content reach your audience and enjoy the process as you do it. Just go with the flow and keep adding on by utilizing the opportunities that come your way. Be sure to live the moment and live your story, which will make it easier for you to convey your true thoughts and feelings to your audience. Don’t get tensed and start running out of words. Stay calm and be yourself to make it as real as possible. It is your story to tell and you have all the power to shape it in a manner that best suits you and makes you highly comfortable. This is the most effective way to keep your audience captivated and interested in your story throughout.
To sum it all up, storytelling is an art and requires the integration of multiple skills at a time to give out the best content and have an audience whose interests are highly peaked. Mastering the skill of effective communication will help in delivering the story in the right manner. Storytelling is a beautiful mode to express your thoughts and feelings creatively, with a set of people to listen to you as well. Be it formal or informal, you must be able to convey your true thoughts to the opposite party and not be inarticulate at any moment. We are gifted with the mode of language which we must use to our maximum advantage to narrate our stories, by keeping it as real as possible.