The Power of Storytelling
Stories have the power to move people. Stories make a connection and are remembered. We live our life through stories.
Whether that’s the stories we experience or the stories we consume – we are story animals. My business and my life are all about stories. I’ve made some of the biggest personal breakthroughs by writing my story.
I write very short fiction for pleasure, and I help people embrace storytelling for their own business or organisation. But, more than anything, I’m a story consumer. I read, I watch and, yes, of course – I listen.
And, when I say listen, most of that is through the medium of a podcast. Unsurprisingly, I’m drawn to podcasters that are natural storytellers. Shows that lead with a story will always have my attention. And that’s especially the case of podcasts that invite guests who share their story. There is something magical about the story and audio combination that just works for me.
What is a Story?
But, I’m getting a bit ahead of myself. What exactly is a story? Google tells me that a ‘Story’ is – “an account of imaginary or real people and events told for entertainment.”
I have my definition – “A story is an experience shared.”
A story is about change. It’s about a journey. And, it’s about connecting with people so they care about the protagonist.
How does this work for non-fiction?
The ability to tell a story isn’t just for fiction writers. The stories we live are just as important as the ones we imagine. The art of storytelling is most associated with fiction. And the good news is that if you’re an audio dramatist or teller of fiction tales – podcasting is perfect. It’s a fun media to share stories. So much so that I’m going to try my hand at it as well.
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But if your show isn’t about audio fiction – storytelling is, in many ways MORE important. Whatever your show is about, I can guarantee one thing – being a great teller of tales will benefit you. The points you want to make will be more memorable if you tell them through stories, rather than sharing dry facts.
Whatever type of show you have, or plan to have, your podcast will benefit from storytelling.
Teaching through stories
If you’re an educator that uses podcasting to teach, stories can improve the entire process. Sharing the stories of problems your community face and how they overcome them works well through audio. (Even better if the challenge has been posed by a listener to your show.)
You can carry on the conversation. And mixing it up to feature guests that can bring their expertise alive by telling their unique story ensures your show is dynamic.
Inspiring through stories
Educating is great, but sometimes what your listener needs is inspiration. They want to be motivated. They want to hear stories of how you or your clients have overcome the odds.
Naturally, they will learn from the experience, but the motivation is to inspire. To get their listener thinking. Inspiring stories; stories that feature success and failure in equal measure are believable.
People relate to these stories.
Connecting through stories
As a host of a show, making a personal connection with your audience is critical. You’re having a conversation with them. You’re sharing your thoughts. A key way to make that connection is by telling your personal stories.
The stories of your life. Allow your audience to know the REAL you. Talk about your family. Share important life events. Don’t overdo it, but adding personal elements, especially to the opening of your show can make all the difference.
Story and Audio | Pitch Perfect Combination
Story delivered through audio works. It always has done, and it always will. But why is that? What is it about Storytelling combined with audio that creates a magic combination. For me, it’s all about the intimacy. It’s about the connection between presenter and listener.
You become the trusted ‘voice in the ear’. You’re the companion as she goes for a jog. You’re the familiar voice that makes the commute less traumatic. And over time, you build that deeper relationship. That stronger bond.
And, there is, of course, the performance element. Without the use of images you can make the words of your story come alive by the emotion you show. Your tone of voice. The emphasis on words and phrases change their meaning. It’s so powerful.
This is episode 1 of a series of 9 episodes exploring different aspects of storytelling for podcasters.
We’ve got our own examples, but, we want to hear yours. So who are the podcasters that deliver great stories? What shows do you remember because of the stories you share.
Leave a comment or send us an email. And, who knows, we might even feature your suggestion in one of the future episodes.
Until then, happy storytelling.