TIP 1 – KNOW WHAT TO SAY
Know what you want to say at a micro and macro level. In order to get your message across perfectly, you must make sure that you know and get your larger theme and them connect the big picture with the components.
TIP 2 – DON’T MAKE IT BORING
Stories are meant to be told to an audience, and it has been gathered from experience that no audience wants to listen to boring stories. They want a story filled with action. They want their storyteller to take them on a mind-blowing adventure. So when next you’re telling a story, we want to see some action! Take us on an adventure.
TIP 3 – CONFLICT IS GREAT
You must bear in mind that “No story is perfect”. Thus you must be able to reveal your struggles to your audience. Let them know how you fell into those struggles as well as how you fought through and rose above it. As a matter of fact, many people are likely to feel connected to your story when you show how tough your struggles were or are than when you paint yourself as a person living a life of opulence. Why is this so? Many of the people that make up your audience are currently sitting in the struggle street, just like you.
TIP 4 – ADD YOUR OWN PERSONALITY
Every perfect story must have a great beginning. You must bear in mind that the very first line of your story is your best opportunity to create a connection between your story and your audience. You must therefore learn to use your personality to your advantage as this can be your strength and it can as well be your weakness. Always remember one thing, your story can never make sense to everyone, but then you should maintain your personality throughout your story, be yourself, be authentic. It is this authenticity that will attract your story to those who connect with you and your personality.
Furthermore, you must target the key moments of your story as this is the perfect time to be more intense with your details, this would do you and your story a lot of good as it would get your audience engaged and stuck in the reality of your story. Always know that your goal is to show to your audience, what is happening, not to tell them.
TIP 5 – TEACH US
The purpose of every story is to both entertain and most importantly, educate the audience. Thus, it must be known that the goal of every storyteller must be striving to educate their audience. It is important to be funny, but let there be wisdom in your comedy. Nobody wants to listen to a story that would leave them intellectually blank, so make sure to garnish your story with some pearls of wisdom. Make sure you educate, motivate and inspire.
TIP 6 – ENGAGE YOUR AUDIENCE
Before you begin your story, be sure to understand that you are telling the story to entertain and educate your audience. Thus, it is quite useful to start your storytelling by interacting with your audience or performing anything to capture their attention, even if it is just rhetorical, or anything that relates to the conclusion or twist or context for the story that is going to be told. You can also try to make a statement that catches the attention of the audience. This can be related to click-bait headline. By so doing you have forced your way into the audience mind and you would have them glued to your story from the beginning to the end if you don’t lose focus midway.
TIP 7 – BUILD THE SCENE
The aim of any storytelling is to create an immersive experience for the audience. You want to narrate a story to your audience in such a way that makes them feel they’re part of the story. You should start by giving them context, and then you continue to build the scene by telling the story through a medium that makes them have a picture of the action in their mind and have the same feeling as you. Note that your language is a very great tool in building the emotions of your audience. Make sure you use words that create very strong and specific emotions in your audience.
TIP 8 – BUILD TENSION AND RELEASE TENSION
Definitely, the major focus of a storyteller should be building tension and releasing tension, up and until the climactic point in the story and the falling action of the conclusion. But a storyteller must remember at all times that a release of tension should come between the tension points. If the tension in a story is not released at specific points, it can destroy the plot of the story and make it feel rushed. Real life includes moments between the things that happen to us. Stories should too. This release can be a description of the scene, and quick filling in of semi-relevant details, or a joke if the story is meant to be a bit funny.
TIP 9 – FOCUS ON WHAT’S IMPORTANT
A story cannot go on forever; there is a limit to what you can present. Thus, while there are loads of ideas to present in your story, it is important to focus majorly on the important details and leave out the unimportant ones. When telling a story, it is important to include details, to create that sense of immersion. Cut the details that aren’t important for the story, leave the ones that make the story.
TIP 10 – KEEP THE FLOW LOGICAL
This is where knowing your story and practicing become important. You know that person that tells a story and they get partway in and then they’re like, “Oh, I forgot to mention…”? Yeah, don’t be that guy. Don’t stop to back up. This breaks the listener’s experience of the story. Tell the story in a way that is logical and flows smoothly.
TIP 11 – MAKE IT FEEL CONCLUSIVE
It’s awkward when an audience isn’t sure if you’re done or not so make the conclusion of your story feel conclusive. There are a number of ways to do this, some examples of which are:
• Ask a question and give an answer. “How crazy is that? I know I’m sure not going to try that again.”
• State the moral. “This, ladies and gentlemen, is an excellent example of why you should never take your cat to work.”
• Use tone and voice carefully. Try generally building in volume and speed until the climax of the story, at which point you should slow back down and lower your voice to show you are done.
TIP 12 – CREATE CHARACTER
Make the different people in the story feel different. If you “act” them differently, then you can skip the annoying “blank said” parts of the story. You can also make the story feel more immersive. Play with accents, speech patterns, and voices for different people in the story. You can add great comedic value by being silly or stereotyping with the voices.
TIP 13 – MAKE YOUR STORYTELLING “BIG” OR “SMALL”
Match the way your voice sounds to how you want the story to feel at that point. Change your pitch, tone, and volume to make stories seem calm or exciting, depending on where you are in the story. Accelerate your speed and slightly increase volume as you build toward the conclusion. Slow down when you say the conclusion.
• You should also experiment with dramatic pauses. A moment of silence and a look can add a lot to someone’s experience of a story.
TIP 14 – CONTROL YOUR FACE
If you want to really become a great storyteller, you have to master your ability to create and change facial expressions to match what you’re saying. Your face should be able to basically act out the entire story. If you really want to learn from the master, watch a lot of Youtube videos of John Stewart or Martin Freeman.
• Remember, facial expressions come in more than 3 flavors. You can convey really complex emotions by using very specific facial expressions.
TIP 15 – TALK WITH YOUR HANDS
Talking with your hands can make you go from seeming like a really stiff, boring story teller to someone who commands the room with a story. Hands convey emotions. Hands keep our audience focused. Hands create a feeling of action. If you don’t use your body in any other way, at least start talking with your hands when you tell a story.
• Of course, you do not want to go over the top. Do not hit anyone in the face or knock over your drink. Or knock your drink into your face.
TIP 16 – ACT OUT THE STORY
If you can, move your whole body to act out the story. You don’t have to reenact every motion, but use your body at key points in the story to direct the listener’s attention to that point. You can also use this to great comedic effect, of course.
• Some stock gestures, such as the Groucho Marx eyebrow lift or the Rodney Dangerfield collar tug, can add extra silliness to a story (Conan O’Brien and Robin Williams frequently used stock gestures).