These 5 tips will make anyone a Good Storyteller
Who's a storyteller? Is it someone who pours hours of thought and squiggles to form a coherent tale? Or maybe a storyteller's a girl who's standing up against her misogynistic boss?
As you are reading this, waves of information online is simultaneously being swept under the carpet by stacks of articles, and the cycle continues ad nauseam. The Tech-Savvy-Sapiens of this generation have a vast growing library of data at arm's reach, so with such privilege, they easily bore from unexceptionally-typical promotional texts. But they, like people before them, love stories.
Storytelling is a game-changing tool for Content Creators, very much similar to novels, it has a beginning, middle, and end; while also expressing a variety of emotions that can ultimately shift-influence towards your brand. So what makes a good storyteller? Here are some tips from storytellers who've moved hearts:
1. Good Storytellers collaborate
Joseph Gordon-Levitt made an appearance with his keynote presentation at the Content Marketing World 2017. He's an actor; 500 Days of Summer & Inception. A Producer & Director, and most of all storyteller.
So what makes him a good storyteller? In his talk, he explained how “thinking differently” about creativity led him to form a collaborative production company called HITRECORD. The platform allows members to create ideas, which then gets 'remixed & refined' by other community members, the best product will then be picked and made into short films, online videos (sponsored), and other creative works.
2. Good storytellers create unique stories or give the old ones a new twist
Although creating new ideas or spinning old ones may sound like a walk-in-a-park, it's actually way tougher than it sounds.
Melanie Deziel, the founder of StoryFuel (a company which teaches and hones skills and strategies for branding), mentions that many marketers think that everything their company publishes is interesting or newsworthy
"The fact that your product comes in a new colour doesn't even begin to register on what the audiences care about in a day."
A good place to start is when you're working on something that's truly a 'first' of something that's never been done before. You can look for something different or surprising in the material itself, or how the story's told.
A stellar example of Melanie's advice would be the sudden trend of "Hands and Pan’s" cooking videos on Social Media. Where a whole video is taken from the Point-of-View of the person cooking, only showing their hands, and their pans.
It was made first by BuzzFeed's brand "Tasty", but after the attention caught on, companies such as Food Network incorporated it into their shows as well.
3. Good storytellers use questions to keep people attentive
If you noticed, the beginning of this article began with a question. Questions are the backbone of structural-storytelling and if you begin asking the right questions, it will help storytellers figure out if the story will matter to their audiences as well.
Michelle Park Lazette began sharpening her storytelling expertise as a reporter at a local newspaper and now she's now a senior writer for the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland. Journalism has helped Michelle in evaluating ideas for a story and craft's one for every attention.
4. Good storytellers lead their readers to form their own conclusions
Melanie Deziel states that one of the lessons she's learned from being an investigative journalist fits perfectly in Content Marketing as well.
"It's not our job to tell the audience what to think or how to feel or what to do - but to paint a picture. Give them enough information so that they can make those choices on their own."
Melanie's advice may seem like a counterintuitive-opposition to Content Marketing. You may be thinking, "Then what's the point of creating such a good story if you're just going to leave the readers confused at the end?"
"The reality is, we like our own ideas much better than other ideas,” Melanie corrected. She strongly suggests that if you are able to lead the reader to form an opinion that you've already forecasted, then you're able to use it to your advantage.
5. Good storytellers match the experience to the proper mediums
The Constitution, the Vitality-of-a-Story is always intangible - it’s a figment from the storyteller’s imagination, and in-order for the story to reach a crowd’s understanding, it must be explained through a certain medium, a setting. Storytellers since the early-daybreaks of time, have conjured: Words, Drawings, Speeches, and most of all Emotions.
Ergo, this has not changed much over the years, stories still retain that similar emotional value, but it’s medium has grown along with technological growth.
Early January 2018, Virtual Reality (VR) unveiled its technological-significance at the Sundance Film Festival, VR short-films by the Oculus Story Studio delivered two short interactive VR flicks that tug on the different ways of thinking when watching the film unveil its plot, improving exponentially, the enjoyment of story deliverance and experience.
Jessica Brillhart (Google's principal-filmmaker in VR) was quoted in John Bucher's commentary-book "Storytelling for Virtual Reality", and in said book, John interviews Jessica on "Shared experienced in VR" in VR. Jessica replies with "In terms of the hero, what's interesting is the shared experiences - having something big happen, that creates some kind of main event, and you're right next to the hero watching it. That creates camaraderie. That creates a 'Shared Experience'."
VR is a relatively new form of storytelling, with experiments emerging in fashion, cosmetics, comics, publishings, (etc). This marks the early-life to a revolutionarily-emerging medium of storytelling. In the distant future, VR might even overtake the current-mediums of storytelling we have now.
So in this stemming industry that is Content Marketing, companies around the world have splurged sums the size of bank-safes, with such large amounts of investments into an industry that serves the customers first, it begs a very veneering question, are stories genuine from the hearts of storytellers anymore? Or are stories told just for the sake of bringing in profit?