How to be Storyteller in the Information Age
I hear the phrase ‘information age’ a lot.
I’ve used it plenty of times myself.
But you know what I don’t hear as much?
‘I thought storytelling was mainly for children?’
Nowadays, CEOs, entrepreneurs, copywriters, doctors, and multiple other fields are looking to learn storytelling.
Mainly because of its universal appeal.
A story is colored information.
This means the information is presented in a pleasant way.
And don’t worry, you don’t need to rent out stadiums to learn how be a storyteller.
As a matter of fact, the origins of this field are rather humbling.
Is Storytelling Important in Your Field?
What is your field?
No need to say it out loud.
But make a mental note of it.
Then see if communicating with someone else more effectively will be high ROI.
What do you think?
Whether you’re a parent negotiating with a kid.
An engineer negotiating with operations.
A consultant trying to close a potential lead.
The ability to communicate with a person’s primal mind is crucial.
Primal is something that is ingrained.
No one taught us how to imagine or feel.
That’s something that happened on autopilot.
Imagination and feelings are the staples of storytelling.
Therefore, if you are dealing with people in some fashion…
Storytelling is a must.
Publishing Your Work
There are 2 steps to learning how to be a storyteller:
- Tell stories.
- Publish your stories.
Before you run away…
I’m not telling you to become a full-out author.
Publishing means to tell a story in public.
If you already create content of some sort, then you know what I’m talking about.
Creating 50 YouTube videos that you have never published doesn’t fully count.
Does it kinda count?
But until the work is published, others are not perceiving the content.
Likewise, telling stories in your mind kinda counts.
But it doesn’t fully count.
To learn how to be a storyteller, make the commitment to let your stories be heard or read.
Whether it’s in a conversation.
Whether it’s when you are closing a deal on the phone.
Or whether it’s a company email that you are sending.
Publishing is making the content public.
Let’s not make it more complicated than that.
Storytelling Formula for Dummies
‘Armani, I know you said I’m not supposed to make a big deal out of storytelling. But isn’t it a big deal?’
It can be, but doesn’t have to be.
Allow me to give you a simple storytelling framework that you can use for 30 seconds or 3 hours.
- Introduce a conflict.
- Delay giving the resolution.
‘John was having a good morning and was headed to work. It was supposed to be just another day. But when he walked into his cube, he saw there was a pink slip on his desk and his items packed in a box…’
We’ll conclude what happens with John shortly.
At this point, I have done step 1 from my storytelling for dummies formula.
I’ve introduced a conflict.
You may be thinking:
‘Hm, what happened to John? Why did he get fired?’
As I am withholding the resolution from you, a part of your body is feeling sensations.
What are those sensations you may be asking???
It’s the feeling of curiosity!
Curiosity is not only mental.
When you can physically feel your curiosity, that’s a clue that you need to get more information.
Just like imagination and feelings are primal.
So is curiosity.
Note: As we are discussing storytelling, we are cutting to the nitty-gritty fundamentals of the human experience.
Opening & Closing Loops
‘John couldn’t believe that he was getting fired! He gave this company 35 years & this is how they repay him? As he furiously opened the pink slip, he saw that he wasn’t getting fired. Instead, it was a birthday card!
-Happy 60th birthday John! The floor decided it’s time you move out of this dingey cube & have the big office!’
That’s the resolution.
I could have delayed giving the resolution.
The longer I delayed the resolution, the more your body would have been invested in the story.
‘Whoa man, that’s a simple formula!’
It’s almost dummy-proof!
The information age has led to an abundance of content.
The abundance of content has made it difficult to pay attention.
Instead of pouring in more information, leverage stories.
- Open loops with conflicts.
- Close loops with resolutions.
These loops are a weapon when having a conversation with someone else.
And this weapon does not tear anyone down.
Instead, it builds all parties up.
How to Practice Storytelling
What would you do if I said I could improve your storytelling AND introspection skills?’
‘I’d say, sign me up!’
Practice the storytelling for dummies formula on your regrets.
A regret = An open conflict.
A regret = A lesson that has not yet been found.
What are you regretful of?
And tell a story of yourself leading up to the regret…
But don’t leave the loop open.
Find the resolution.
Not all resolutions have happy endings.
But all resolutions have wisdom.
Don’t worry, this is a story that you don’t have to publish.
It’s more so for practice.
But if you want to publish it because it fits the theme of your brand, then go for it!
It’s all about using baby steps to work up to colossal steps.
Learn How to Be a Storyteller in the Information Age
Information is abundant.
Stories are scarce.
In this article, we saw how to leverage simplicity.
A story doesn’t always have to be a grand spectacle.
There is beauty to simplicity.
A storyteller is in the game of communicating with a human’s primal side.
Society has pounded a lot of norms, logic & rules on the primal human.
The storyteller bypasses the derivates to go to the nitty-gritty fundamentals.
The mind & body can’t help but listen to a good story.
Therefore, tell your tales.
Publish your tales.
And build your idea portfolio over time!
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