Sometimes we overlook the value of storytelling skills. I am guilty of this when I thought stories only existed in books, comics, manga, music, television shows, and films. We hear, tell, and share stories every time we communicate with someone. Whether if it is in our personal or work lives, we are always telling a story to exchange information and create a relationship with others.
Now is the time you need to develop your storytelling skills. With shorter attention spans, we need to tell stories effectively in shorter time frames, as seen in TikTok videos. Let me explain why becoming a strong storyteller in any form is essential regardless of what your job is.
Why You should be a Storyteller:
What thoughts come to mind when you think of what storytellers do? We are all storytellers when we sell a product or service in a retail setting, convince a student to learn about a subject, or tell a friend, family member, or significant other about our day. In short, storytellers are:
- Strong communicators
- Compelling marketers
We all need to hone our storytelling skills to express how much we want that promotion at work, share the importance of enacting a change in our community, and care for someone we love.
Storytellers are Strong Communicators
According to GettingSmart.com, we learn how to tell stories to “communicate values,” “inspire action,” and “provide [ourselves] a framework [to overcome] our challenges.” These three elements of a narrative are in Tyler Nakatsu’s post, “Why Should We Teach Storytelling? 5 Reasons to Start Today,” in the following categories:
- A story of self: The call to leadership
- A story of us: The shared values and experiences
- A story of now: The strategies and actions to take.
We write our own stories every day when we choose which words and actions to take. Like the plotline in any television show, film, or novel, each step affects others and could lead to other events taking place.
Mastering the skill of storytelling helps us understand ourselves and learn to be empathetic to others. We begin to think about how we want to approach an interview, lead a group project, and inspire others to communicate our message for change to our communities.
Storytellers are Changemakers
Influential storytellers are problem-solvers. They can communicate to and convince their communities to call everyone to action about issues that need change. As mentioned in Nakatsu’s post, writing “admissions essays are the first time [students] realize the importance of telling a great story.”
The essays give students a chance to convince admission committees to provide them with the resources to develop their skills, expand their knowledge, and give back to society by studying at the school. Students need to determine if they know their strengths and “unique calling” to communicate their story to the committee.
Knowing your strengths and weaknesses is the first step to becoming a reliable, inspiring, and responsible leader. Speakers who share their ideas to inspire others to showcase their strong leadership skills. Whether you aspire to step into the public’s eye or want to lead your peers, strengthening your leadership skills as a storyteller will enable you to work toward becoming a changemaker in your environments.
Storytellers are Compelling Marketers
Convincing a person or group with a story is similar to “selling” a product or service to a customer. In “3 Reasons Why Storytelling Should Be A Priority For Marketers” on forbes.com, Kimberly Whitler highlights that “storytelling enables marketers to develop a deeper connection with the audience.”
Being aware and acknowledging our audience’s needs is one of the lessons to learn from storytelling. If we don’t think about the person or people listening and reading our stories, no one will want to continue learning about the fantastic story we want to share.
Imagine yourself wanting to sell a product or service to potential clients. You will want to think about what value(s) they will benefit from purchasing your product or service. Now, how will you communicate the features and benefits to them?
The thought process behind storytelling is where we learn the real skills. We won’t be focusing on how to entertain the audience with our storytelling skills. Instead, we educate customers that they need your product or service by outlining the features and benefits.
You can become a strong storyteller when you think about your message, audience, and how to establish a connection with your audience. Reading, listening, and seeing examples of effective communicators tell a story about a product, movie, or service is an excellent start to learning how you can imitate and perfect your storytelling abilities to your style.
Master the skill of storytelling for your benefit. Become a strong communicator of your thoughts, inspire positive change to others, and market your ideas to your peers to help everyone live in a happier and prosperous community.
What do you think storytellers, like you and I, can do with our skills?