The secret to being a great storyteller

We all use a number of platforms to share our stories with the world, some do this as a form of therapy and others in the hope to inspire. The reality is that not everyone will read our work or even like it, but that’s OK because maybe they aren’t the audience you want.

Audience is the key theme of this piece. I’ve been building communications engagement strategies throughout my career and managing a variety of marketing ventures as side projects for a number of years too and in my experience I’ve noted a few patterns to successfully land content.

The obvious one that many will highlight is to be a great storyteller and yes this is key, yet what we should also talk about is knowing your audience.

In many ways knowing your audience has a lot of similarities to Kevin Kelly’s famous 1,000 true fans article and you can read my thoughts on developing your audience in this fashion too.

Being a storyteller is an important component to expressing your ideas and getting engagement to develop your own audience. Just like a comedian preparing for stand-up, you need to test out your material and continually shape it to the needs of the audience you want to engage with.

Take me as an example, I write frequently about learning, personal development and managing the monkey mind across this website, Linkedin and my weekly newsletter. I build a narrative that appeals to my audience and allows me to share my messages simply and with impact.

Developing the skill of building engaging narratives is critical to any form of writing you pursue, we want to bring our audience on a journey and most importantly — understand how to communicate with different audiences on the topics we write about.

There is no one size fits all approach when it comes to getting your message heard, of course you can use click bait tactics, yet this will not provide the impact you’d like.

From experience I can most certainly advise to build awesome stuff of real value, content that is of service, do this and the people will come.

To develop your communications and engagement plans, you must understand the audience you’re trying to connect with. How do they digest information? Do they respond better to simple language or a bit more detail? Are they visual or prefer a more intimate style?

To be successful in getting audiences to buy into your ideas is by knowing them, knowing how to connect on that human level and tell your story in a way that creates that connection.

Anything less is selling yourself and them short.


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