Adventures in Storytelling
Think about an adventure. It’s going to do and see something new. You’re giving that to your audience. You’re giving them something that needs to entertain or educate them. You need to engage their emotions.
We have talked about the basics of storytelling. How to put emotion into our speeches by
- using sensory words and images
- crafting the sequence of the story
- creating a lead character that the audience can relate to.
By using a variety of methods, you can pull your audience in, but you have to start from the very beginning.
Your introduction needs to help the audience understand the context of the story and how it relates to them.
There are a few techniques to do this.
1. Start with a Question – The Power of “Ever”
“Did you ever think about…” “Have you ever gone…”
“Ever” isn’t a throw-away word in that sentence. “Ever” is a word that makes people think about their personal histories and stories. This nice hook word signals to the listener that they’re about to hear a story and give them a context to relate to the adventure you’re about to give them.
2. Shock Your Audience
This will often work best in a funny story or a tall tale. If the adventure you want to share is so extraordinary that it’s unlikely that the audience has never done this before or what’s about to happen is so unexpected, you can preview the story in a short sentence.
3. Change Their Expectations aka The Twist
Lots of people have similar stories or experiences. You might want to change it up in some way that isn’t what they expect. When you have a story with a lot of complications, it’s easy to put in a twist because the audience assumes they know where the story is going to end up. The adventure changes when a twist turns everything around.
Wait for the Reaction
When you’re telling a story, you want the audience to react to your story. Laughter, gasps, applause – wait for it. Give the audience a chance to finish laughing so they won’t miss your next line.
Wrap It Up
When you get to the end of your story, you need to have a satisfactory ending. If you’re talking about a personal experience, you might want to talk about how this experience changed you. If you’re telling a story about two people, how did this change them or their relationship? The adventure needs a strong ending – which means you need a good climax to the story.
How’s the Adventure of Your Story?
Are you ready to preview it for us today?
We’re ready to listen and help you polish it up.