7 Tips For Better Storytelling

Just Keep Learning

17-04-2024 • 16 mins

Click To JOIN! Just Keep Learning Newsletter

How To Tell Better Stories

I hope by now you understand that stories can be short, sweet, but also really powerful in helping you share any message you want.

The best thing about storytelling to me is that it is yet another infinite game. We can get better and better at storytelling forever.

So for today, let’s keep it simple, what are a few things you could do today to improve your storytelling?
I’ll keep these quick.

  • Keep It Simple - A good story is easy to understand.  It should be around the 5th grade level in terms of language. Don’t make it any longer than it needs to be. Remove the fluff, no extra stuff. And don’t rush the pace, or rate of revelation, just let the story breath.
  • “No And Then” - There’s a funny moment in the movie “Dude Where’s My Car?” where the person working the drive through window keeps saying “and then” and they’re having to say back a bunch of times “there’s no and then”. It’s a great way to remember the main storytelling tip that the creators of South Park Matt Stone and Trey Parker say. Don’t create “and then” moments. Instead make your beats, or events lead to each other. Connect the moments. For example “this happened, so this happened, because this happened, so this happened”. As opposed to “this happened and then this happened and then this happened.”
  • Hooks And Headlines - You need to grab attention. So, you should spend disproportionate time on the head line and hook. This is the catchy, thesis, value statement of the piece. It creates intrigue and without it no one will listen to your story anyways.
  • Engage Emotions - Use power words that connect with your audience on an emotional level. This makes it more impactful, memorable and worthwhile.
  • Show, Don’t Tell - Rather than explaining, use immersive words and phrases that tap into the senses of sight, sounds, smells, and tactile experiences to create a vivid picture in the audience's mind.
  • Relatable Characters - Develop the archetype of your character in a way that makes them understood, intriguing and connected to the audience. Give them depth by adding unique traits, desires, and conflicts.

Use A Framework
Now these can be a bit abstract, maybe something we can look at in more detail later, so I’ll give a couple examples for now. You can go off the beaten track and get as creative as you want, but at first you should start with a framework for the story. There are many frameworks. You can look them up specific to telling stories for education, memoir, business, or fiction. The simplest is to think in terms of “a beginning, middle and end”. And one of the most popular is “the hero’s journey.

Hero’s Journey
A series of steps the character must take to achieve their goal. The main steps include: call to adventure;  crossing the first threshold; leaving behind the known world, venturing into the unknown; tests, trials, and allies; a major enemy or obstacle; and finally, the return home, transformed and changed by their experiences.

**For the full written version of the episode see the transcript.

Instagram – @JustKeepLearning.Ca
YouTube –@justkeeplearningpodcast
Twitter – @JustinNolan_JKL
Tiktok – @justkeeplearning.ca
Pinterest – JustKeepLearningca
Facebook – JustKeepLearning
LinkedIn – Justin

I'm so happy you found this podcast. I am here to serve you, the creative solopreneur & aspiring content creator to get clarity on how to create content, teaching, build a business and design the life of your dreams without burning out in the online learning, creator economy.

Want to get every single secret, tip, or idea I learn about channelling our emotions into success in this new creator economy, be sure to subscribe to the newsletter: https://newsletter.justkeeplearning.ca/main