If you’re like most people, you probably think you’re a pretty good storyteller. After all, you’ve been telling stories your whole life! But the truth is, most people actually suck at storytelling. In this article, we’ll explore some of the common mistakes people make when telling stories, and how you can avoid them to become a master storyteller.
What is storytelling?
Storytelling is the act of sharing a story. It can be done verbally, through writing, or via another medium such as film or theatre. Storytelling is a way to connect with others, to share an experience, and to create meaning.
Unfortunately, not all storytelling is created equal. In fact, some storytelling can be downright terrible. If you’re wondering why your storytelling sucks, here are four possible reasons:
- You’re not telling a story that’s interesting.
If your story isn’t interesting, no one will want to listen to it. Make sure you have a strong plot and characters that people can connect with.
- You’re not telling the story in an engaging way.
Even if your story is interesting, it won’t matter if you’re not telling it in an engaging way. Boring delivery will lose your audience quickly. Make sure you keep them hooked by using vivid language and an engaging delivery style.
- You’re not making use of The Rule of Three.
The Rule of Three states that things that come in threes are inherently more enjoyable, memorable, and effective than other numbers of things. When telling a story, make use of this rule by dividing your story into three parts (e.g. beginning, middle, and end) or using three key elements (e.g. three main characters).
- You’re not using storytelling to achieve a specific goal.
Storytelling isn’t just about entertainment; it can also be used to achieve a specific goal. Whether you’re trying to sell a product, raise awareness for a cause, or simply entertain your audience, make sure your story is tailored to achieve that goal.
The different types of stories
There are many different types of stories, and each one has its own unique elements that make it special. However, not all stories are created equal. In fact, some stories are just plain bad. If you’re wondering why your storytelling sucks, it could be because you’re not using the right type of story for your purpose.
Here are some of the most common types of stories, and why they might not be working for you:
- The Hero’s Journey
The hero’s journey is a classic story arc that has been used time and time again in countless books, movies, and TV shows. It’s a tried-and-true formula that can be very effective if used correctly. However, if you’re just regurgitating the same old story beats without any originality or flair, then your audience is going to see right through it.
- The Love Story
Love stories are always popular, but they can also be very clichéd and formulaic. If you’re not careful, your love story can quickly turn into a Lifetime movie worthy of mockery. Again, it’s all about finding new and interesting ways to tell a familiar story.
- The Coming-of-Age Story
Coming-of-age stories are another type of story that can easily become clichéd. If you’re not careful, your coming-of-age story will just be a rehashing of the same old beats that have been done to death. Again, it’s all about finding new and interesting ways to tell a familiar story.
- The Quest Story
Quest stories are another type of story that can quickly become formulaic. If you’re not careful, your quest story will just be a rehashing of the same old beats that have been done to death. Again, it’s all about finding new and interesting ways to tell a familiar story.
- The Mystery Story
Mystery stories are always popular, but they can also be very clichéd and formulaic. If you’re not careful, your mystery story can quickly turn into an episode of Scooby Doo. Again, it’s all about finding new and interesting ways to tell a familiar story.
Why your storytelling sucks
We all love a good story. But sometimes, the stories we tell ourselves and others fall flat. Why? Because they suck. Here are some tips on how to make your storytelling better:
- Know your audience
Before you even start telling your story, think about who you’re telling it to. What will they find interesting? What will bore them? Knowing your audience will help you craft a tale that they’ll actually want to hear.
- Keep it concise
Nobody wants to hear a long-winded story that drags on and on. So, make sure to keep your story concise and to the point. Keep the focus on the central conflict and resolution, and don’t get sidetracked with unnecessary details.
- Make it relatable
Your audience is more likely to be interested in a story that they can relate to on some level. So, try to find ways to make your story relatable to them. Whether it’s through the characters, the setting, or the plot, find ways to connect with your audience and make them care about what’s happening in your story.
- Use strong language
The words you use in your story can make a big difference in how engaging it is. Avoid using weak or vague language, and instead opt for strong, evocative words that will paint a picture in your listener’s mind.
- Deliver it with conviction
The way you tell your story is just as important as the story itself. If you’re not confident in your delivery, your audience will be able to tell, and they’ll quickly lose interest. So, make sure you practice beforehand and deliver your story with conviction.
The 5 step process to improve your storytelling
- Evaluate your story.
- Find the key elements that are missing.
- Fill in the blanks.
- Rewrite your story.
- Practice, practice, practice!
If you want to improve your storytelling, you need to go through this process. By evaluating your story, finding the key elements that are missing, and filling in the blanks, you can make your story much better. Then, by rewriting it and practicing, you can perfect your new and improved story.
As a storyteller, it’s important to be aware of the various elements that make up a good story. If you find that your storytelling skills are lacking, don’t despair — there are ways to improve. By studying the craft of storytelling and practicing regularly, you can develop the skills necessary to tell engaging, compelling stories that will captivate your audience. So if you’re ready to step up your storytelling game, put in the work and see how your skills develop over time.