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How to tell a good story

Go beyond words – “A story, if broken down into the simplest form is a connection of cause and effect.”

Storytelling is one of the most powerful techniques we have to communicate and motivate. When we tell stories that have helped shape our thinking and way of life to others, it can have the same effect on them too

“When the woman spoke, the volunteers understood her story, and their brains synchronised. When she had activity in her insula, an emotional brain region, the listeners did too. When her frontal cortex lit up, so did theirs. By simply telling a story, the woman could plant ideas, thoughts and emotions into the listeners’ brains.”

A simple story is more successful than the complicated one.

Storytelling can seem daunting to most of us, but usually that’s because we think we have to use fancy words or inspiring phrases. In fact, using simple language is the best way to activate the parts of our brains that make us relate to the story. Try using simple, yet heartfelt language.

Some top storytelling tips...

1. Four P’s - People, Place, Plot, Purpose

Think about who’s story you are telling and introduce the group/ individual (but keep it short!). What kind of area does your story take place in? Now the main bit - what’s your plot? Talk about the conflicts and the journey. Lastly, your purpose. Why do you want to tell this story?

2. Less is more

You’ll likely be writing about the past year, and a lot may have happened in that time. Select the details that are need to know and be specific, little details will bring your story to life!

3. Make it as personal as possible

This is either your story, someone you know, a group you’ve been involved in or been watching from afar. Think about how we are interested in hearing how other’s have responded to different events. We all love a good protagonist!

4. If you can, end on a positive takeaway

Good stories often end with a ‘spark’. What little piece of wisdom or advice would you give another group or individual in your position?


For more help with your story, download our application pack!