7 key storytelling techniques

 If you want to influence people , you simply have to master the technique of storytelling. Love for stories is in our blood - since those distant times, when our ancestors told them near the fire. Regardless of how you communicate with your audience (verbally or in writing), the general principles of storytelling are the same. We suggest you explore 7 basic plots with which you can create a story for any occasion .

7 key storytelling techniques

1. Once upon a time, there were

The classic and perhaps the most effective technique, the basics of which you learned in school. Think back to the standard narrative structure:

  • Tie;
  • Plot development;
  • Climax;
  • A happy ending.

We are all accustomed to this structure from childhood - this is how our favorite fairy tales and cartoons are built. A certain hero goes on a journey or finds himself in unusual conditions, overcomes many obstacles, eventually defeats the dragon and conquers his princess.

This technique creates a very good immersion effect: the reader experiences the hero's adventures with him.

When is it better to use this option:

  • Engaging an audience that begins to associate themselves with your brand.
  • Transfer of useful experience.
  • Motivation to perform certain actions that will lead the reader to the same happy ending.

2. Alternative history

While Villabaggio is already writing cool stories, Villaribo still gets their ideas straight. It is the famous detergent advertisement that is the clearest example of this storytelling technique. In it, you oppose two realities: good and bad, desired and real, and lead the reader to the choice of the option you need. At the end, the author can present a recipe for achieving this better reality.

When is it better to use this option:

  • Attracting readers to your side.
  • Detaching yourself from competitors.
  • Creating a sense of hope for the best.

3. Into the pool with your head

Information overdose leads to the fact that people no longer want to read lengthy introductions and dive deeply into the development of history. They want to get into the thick of things as soon as possible. The technique "Into the whirlpool with the head" is just intended for such cases.

You start in the hot middle of the story, lowering the story line. This allows you to quickly grab the reader's attention. He will want to know what led to the climax and how the story will end. It is important not to reveal all the cards to the very end in order to keep your attention.

When is it better to use this option:

  • You need to clearly focus the audience's attention on a specific point where the story begins.
  • You need to quickly grab the attention of an unfamiliar audience.

4. Shock scenario

The story begins as a classic, with a light plot, and leads to a rather predictable ending. But then something out of the ordinary happens, turning the whole plot upside down. This technique is often used in TV shows. For example, they kill a beloved hero who is in a completely safe place. This allows you to shock the reader / listener / viewer and thereby captivate him. By breaking a person's expectations, you create a very strong emotional connection to the story.

When is it better to use this option:

  • You need to talk about an innovative way to solve problems.
  • You need to share an unusual challenge that your company has successfully tackled.
  • You need to diversify the classic format and keep the audience's elusive attention .

5. Two storylines

This technique is somewhat reminiscent of "Alternative History" - it also has two storylines. However, in this case, at first, they are not connected in any way, and even more so they are not opposed to each other. On the contrary, at the climax, these storylines converge, heralding the emergence of something new.

When is it better to use this option:

  • Show the history of the creation of a certain product.
  • Talk about forming a partnership with someone.
  • Tell about how your company was created and how people came to it.

6. Sad end

This format completely copies the classic one in structure, but the end is far from so rosy. The tension builds up during the storytelling process, and a dramatic event happens at the climax. However, the ending of the story should provide hope or show certain conclusions that will help avoid a sad outcome.

  • When is it better to use this option:
  • You need to talk about negative experiences from which you have learned certain lessons .
  • You need to inspire sympathy in people.
  • You need to influence people with the ending.

7. All roads lead to Rome

This format involves combining multiple stories around a central concept. The stories can be completely independent or somehow overlap with each other, but in any case they are united by one message. You kind of give a lot of evidence for the main idea, and as a result, the story looks very convincing. (By the way, this article, despite the fact that it is not a story, is built on a similar principle: we describe different approaches to implementing the same idea.)

When is it better to use this option:

  • You need to demonstrate how various phenomena relate to your main message.
  • With this format, you can invite a person to become part of a community that shares a certain value.
  • Multiple stories combined add to the persuasiveness of the story.

Storytelling is not just about coming up with a story and telling or writing it beautifully. It is also about understanding the purpose of the story, studying the audience to whom it is being communicated, and based on this data, choose the correct format for the story. Only then will you get the maximum effect.

Well, if you want to really immerse yourself in storytelling and master all its wisdom, we suggest you take our storytelling course. In this online program, in 5 weeks you will learn to express your thoughts in an exciting, reasoned, original and witty manner, so that you are interested in reading and listening, and so that after your story people do what you want them to do.


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