A few years ago, my manager at the time went out of his way for both of us to attend a storytelling course in London. Although I was excited, I was not quite sure why I needed to spend two days in London for a storytelling course. After all, my communications skills were fine.
“Communication – the human connection – is the key to personal and career success” by Paul J. Meyer.
Years later, I am very grateful to have had the opportunity to learn some of the foundations of why storytelling can be impactful beyond imagination. I also realized that perhaps my communications skills did need some enhancements after all!
“Sometimes we think we are better than what we are. Sometimes we think we are less than what we are capable of. At all times, being self-aware will help you balance and tap into your actual potential by becoming a long life student”.
Technology is dictating many lives across the globe regarding lifestyle and how we communicate with each other. And there is an overflow of “How to..” articles and videos if you want to dive deeper into what makes an excellent communicator.
As a passionate storyteller myself, I have learned to adopt several principles. I am very flexible and I keep adjusting and learning from what works and what does not. But the following have served me well over the past years and you may wish to seek inspiration to develop your principles!
Here are my first three, and because attention spans are short, I will publish all of them over several blogs! Enjoy!
1. Seek to understand before being understood
Often we speak with ourselves in mind instead of contemplating how the message will come across. Adopting an outside-in approach, meaning understanding your audience and their why will help you craft a powerful message.
Picture yourself as the medium transmitting an important message. If it is about you, people are likely not to listen (Unless you are George Clooney or Angelina Jolie perhaps). Make it about them and the value you are providing through your message. Tell your story in their shoes. I know, not easy. But practice makes perfect!
2. Less is more
When I did my Masters at the University of Cambridge, I will never forget my first reading list. Holy grail! I had no idea that English could be so sophisticated and complicated to understand! It took me a while to get used to the academic world and language. I started off on a false impression that I had to learn and write complicated English to pass my essays. Surprise, surprise! Non-native speakers wrote some of the best essays.
You see, depending on what audience you are trying to reach, generally people have a very short attention span in this digital age. So unless you keep it to the point in a language your grandparents can understand, odds are no one will read your stories until the end.
3. Authenticity in a digital age is a golden currency
A common mistake people make is thinking that they need to be more like Shakespeare or Paul Coelho when writing. The thing is, the world does not need more copycats. The world needs unique and authentic voices, voices that continue to defy status-quo and push critical thinking boundaries beyond limits.
And know that not everyone will like what you write, and that is fine! Be yourself, be authentic and write from the heart. Those who will resonate will connect through the heart and will read your stories.
You may be the juiciest peach on earth; there will still be some people who do not like peaches.
As you grow older and with experience, you will be able to find your voice much easier. And writing in your voice and sharing essential insights through your lens will help create diverse and inclusive discussions.
Thank you for reading! Stay tuned for more inspiring and motivational blogs & videos on www.inspireshareact.com.
And always remember, authenticity in a digital age is golden currency. Sharing is caring and can even be life-changing for many without you knowing it!