Stories are powerful tools. When they connect with an audience, it can move people into action, go viral and start a revolution or even change the face of a community or society. No matter what sphere you are in, you need to master the art of storytelling if you want to become successful.
You might be a coach trying to become a better speaker. You could be business trying to market your product. Or you might be a local movement trying to get a grant or a person trying to win friends. We all need to tell great stories.
But what makes a great story anyways? Well, the layers to a great story can be complex at times. Yet here’s a simple way to put it- all great stories connect to an audience. It doesn’t matter how fancy your words are or how extraordinary the people in your story are. If they don’t connect, then it serves no purpose.
If you want to become successful at telling stories, you need to master the art of connecting. How can you do that? Here are three areas where you can start. If you build on these three elements, you will have more than enough to start connecting with your audience.
Characters with Depth
At the heart of every story is a character. The amazing thing about people is that they’re never dull. There is no such thing as a boring person- only shallow stories. When we fail to look deeper into a character there will always be something we can connect with.
Look into the desires, complexities, and uniqueness of a character. At the heart of every person is something that we can connect with. An emotion, an ambition, a love or a challenge. Stories with deep characters will connect with an audience. You just need to dig deeper.
There’s one thing that all people face at some point in their life. That’s conflict. Traffic, enemies, financial challenges, or maybe even internal conflict. We see the conflict within. And when we’re faced with the conflict of other people, we relate to them.
That’s why you should never dial down on conflict. That’s not to say that you should exaggerate or fabricate. Tell the conflict as it is. When you do, you give a common ground between your audience and your character.
A Deeper “Why”
Pixar has twenty-two rules that they follow when they tell stories. One of them states this challenge, “Why must you tell THIS story? What’s the belief burning within you that your story feeds off of? That’s the heart of it.” There are thousands of stories being told this instant, but why must yours be heard?
The objective of your story will propel its destination. Do you know why you are telling your story? If you don’t then you need to look deeper. Find the core motivation to why people need to hear what you have to share.