Happy National Storytelling Week, folks! I’ll bet that you didn’t even know that there was such a thing – am I right? National Storytelling Week was designed to encourage the often over-looked or neglected art of storytelling, and we couldn’t possibly be more on board with that. Today, in honor of this national storytelling observance, we want to focus on the storyteller – the person who makes the story come to life. Because whether you are reading a book to a room full of children or telling your brand’s story to your target audience, the power to tell a great story will always lie within the hands (and funny voices) of the storyteller. What’s the secret to being a great storyteller? We’re glad you asked.
The Ability to Turn the Audience into Characters of the Story
I remember when I was little and my mom would read stories to me before bed; I would listen so intently that I sometimes felt like I was actually jumping into the pages and becoming a part of the story. My mom was a magical storyteller. She could turn a simple story into an imaginative adventure. And you know what? The same concept applies to brand storytelling. If you can make your audience feel like they are a part of your story, that’s a key ingredient to being a great storyteller.
The Ability to Take the Audience on an Emotional Journey
One great thing about children’s’ books is their ability to take you on an emotional journey along with the characters of the book. Sometimes the author of the book is the only storyteller you need. I recall one of my favorite book character’s from my childhood – Ramona Cleary. Does anyone else remember? I remember reading Beverly Cleary’s book series and experiencing all of Ramona’s highs and lows right alongside her, and in turn, I felt connected to her. Why? Because Beverly Cleary is a great storyteller.
The secret to connecting your target audience to your brand is creating an emotional connection between the two. If you can use storytelling to take your audience on an emotional journey, you are a great storyteller. Whether it’s their soft side or their sense of humor, tap into your audience’s emotions.
The Ability to Leave the Audience with Something Valuable
I will always remember the magical journey that my mom took me on when she would read my favorite stories, but underneath the overstated charade and the array of character voices lied a purpose for telling me that story. She wasn’t just reading and telling these stories to me for fun – she was drawing me in with her creative storytelling theatrics, knowing that within each story lied a valuable lesson.
That’s the beauty of storytelling. Rather than my mom simply saying, “You need to learn to share with your sister,” (not that she didn’t say that a lot, too) she told me a story of two sisters that took me on an emotional journey and taught me a lesson. That’s what your audience wants, too. They want to emotionally connect with your brand, and in turn, take away something valuable to them. If you can achieve that, you are telling great stories.
The Ability to Tell a Story that is Relatable
In order to tell a great story, you have to capture your audience’s attention. How do you do that? By relating to them. Picture yourself telling stories around a campfire with a group of kids – what kind of stories are you going to tell? Well, that all depends on your audience, right?
If you want to capture the short attention spans of a group of kids at a camp out, you are going to have to speak their language. Maybe you’ll choose a story about a haunted football field or ghosts of band camps past – you get the point. So, the same goes for brand storytelling. You can’t reach your audience or capture their attention if you aren’t telling stories that they can relate to. Think about it – who is your target audience and what makes them tick? The answer to that question is the secret to telling great stories.
The tradition of storytelling has many faces, and they all deserve to be celebrated. Through storytelling, your marketing efforts can become something memorable, much like those magical stories that my mom used to tell me when I was little. In honor of National Storytelling Week, we challenge you to awaken your inner storyteller and start telling great stories. After all, there is a storyteller living inside all of us.
“After nourishment, shelter and companionship, stories are the thing we need most in the world.” Philip Pullman
Are you ready to start telling your story? Reach out to us at The Storyteller Agency. Call us at 850.267.0931 or send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. We can help you with creative content, video production, social media management, website design, and much more!