HOW TO DO STORYTELLINGCreate your digital story
How to do storytelling? You read texts that enchant you, watch videos that move you, and wonder how you can replicate similar results on your Facebook profile or at your company events. There is a solution to your problem: I will explain how to do storytelling. But what does that mean exactly? And what tools are needed?
Developing storytelling skills to relate to others has become a priority. You need to find ways to make your words interesting and engaging whether you want to publish a social media post or you need to enhance the appeal of your brand or product to set yourself out from the competitors. The simple descriptive story is no longer enough; you need to adorn it with narrative content that your audience can identify with and identify with.
With this comprehensive guide, you will learn how to tell a story, creating compelling personal narratives or corporate communications that will increase your followers through the memorability of the experience you offer. The Digital Storytelling course will help you create emotions that attract and engage users.
How to do storytelling: definition
But what is storytelling specifically? We start by clarifying the exact meaning of the term, which will enlighten us on the way to build our own successful storytelling. Then we will analyze step by step all the steps to create compelling and engaging storytelling content.
How to do storytelling: it starts with understanding the difference between the translation of the term “history“, i.e., history understood as a succession of dates, facts, and “story”. History is, therefore, a chronological and neutral description of events, while storytelling is a collection of information-rich in meaning treated in an intense and memorable manner. Storytelling, therefore, means turning a description into a narrative.
How can we implement this process? Let us start by carefully examining examples from the reality around us, from reading a post to watching a video. Let us analyze them trying to understand:
- The starting situation
- The tension or conflict to be resolved
- The decisive and decisive action
- The end result/suggested moral
A narrative, to be effective, always involves the use of these themes: memorize them well and learn to always look for them in the situations that confront you in everyday life. Only in this way will you be able to start thinking in a narrative way, and you will find it easier to work out a storytelling project.
The storyboard is a very important tool for a content creator. Specifically, it is used to outline the contents of an audiovisual or multimedia narrative.
The one who creates written and visual content online is the Web Content Editor. Find out with a quiz if it’s a profession that’s right for you!
How to do design of storytelling
You have analyzed several examples from your everyday life. Now you ask yourself how you can recreate this pattern in the communication of your products or in the copy of your post when you are about to write and think about how to do storytelling.
Before designing the structure of your story, you have to ask yourself:
- Who is my target audience?
- Why did I decide to tell/report?
- What emotions do I want to make people feel?
- What message do I wish to convey?
Write all the answers in an appropriate outline, which will accompany you throughout your storytelling project. You can only create an effective and engaging narrative if you know these motivations thoroughly. Above all, remember: you are not writing to tell a story; you are structuring a story that your audience must identify with and recognize.
This is the fundamental sense to grasp when we ask how to do storytelling. Only if your audience identifies with your narrative will you be able to say that you have communicated effectively, gaining the following that you expect.
The components of storytelling
Now that you have answered the basic questions, it is time to develop the story. Here are the fundamental elements to take into account:
- The actual story
- The reader of your narrative
- The context where you will set it
- The form and manner of its performance
- Identifying the storyteller
By calibrating these variables, you will begin to give a concrete shape to your story: your storytelling design is taking shape! How to do storytelling is no longer an empty word of meaning but begins to resonate following the whole color scale of the rainbow!
How to write a plot: narrative outlines
After you have contextualized your story, you have to specify how you want it to unfold. You have four main narrative outlines at your disposal:
- Surprise stories: they have a linear development with a beginning that continues until the happy ending is reached
- Tragic stories: the beginning is followed by a crescendo development that ends with a vertiginous descent to a tragic end
- Seesaw stories: these are the stories in which moments with oscillating upward and downward calibrations alternate in rapid succession
- Fulfillment stories: these narratives unfold from an initial downward fall, then gradually increase in intensity as they grow towards a positive conclusion.
These different narrative profiles are associated with your audience’s emotions. If you design surprise stories, astonishment will prove to be the dominant feeling. If, on the other hand, you choose a tragic story, anguish will be the prevailing feeling, while suspense will take over your audience as you tell a seesaw story. On the other hand, the story of fulfillment is one that the audience will associate with a feeling of happiness.
Find the narrative profile that best suits the story you want to tell and the audience you want to identify with. Have fun weaving them together, and create a novel narrative that can touch the emotional heart of your audience.
Remember to include conflict; without conflict, there is no story; it is the engine of the story because it creates and advances the plot and makes every action and interaction intriguing.
If you are made for this role, challenge yourself! Improve your skills and start making memorable stories
To more compellingly resonate with your audience, you have some formidable weapons at your disposal that, if used consistently with their expectations, will make your message more persuasive. When choosing the narrative tone, you must first decide the emotional tone of your story because a story can be meant to soothe or set people’s hearts on fire, to move or bring joy, to frighten or be so powerful and robust that it will stick in the viewer’s mind memorably.
You must set an appropriate tone for your narrative to determine how it will engrave itself in the soul of your listener.
Therefore, analyze the primary emotions you want to trigger through the narrative: Joy? Anger? Surprise? Fear? Disgust? Sadness? And the feelings that accompany them: Love? Disappointment? Hatred? Melancholy? Enthusiasm? Hope? Or the countless others that you can decline according to all the shades of the color palette, chiseling and perfecting the mood in which your audience will be immersed?
You find yourself in the position of a pianist who has to perform a compelling melody for an audience waiting for nothing more than to be moved by the different combinations you develop with skillful and articulate use of the keyboard.
Search among the myriad of feelings and emotions that we experience every day for those best suited to convey your message and propose them in a coherent manner to your listeners. They will be the keystone that will make your communication convincing and persuasive! Here is the secret revealed when you wonder how to do storytelling!
Use storytelling to improve corporate communication and create a connection with the audience
Storydoing, the heart of storytelling
How to write a story? In the storytelling design phase, we defined the premises for realizing our narrative. Now we begin to go into the concrete unfolding of our ideas. The most effective starting point is the conflict pattern with others, oneself, nature, and God. The type of contrast you choose will only become memorable with the narrative description of these elements:
- the painful event to face
- the reaction that it provoked
- enemies/obstacles to be defeated
- the feat that was accomplished
To these basic components of the story, you will have to add other elements such as the treasure/stake that the hero will obtain if he succeeds in his feat, the helpers who will facilitate his task, and the space/time setting where the story will unfold. With a combined and effective use of the different pieces of your scheme, you will construct a story according to what is commonly called the canonical narrative scheme.
If you can also use other persuasive narrative techniques, you can make your storytelling even more convincing and expressive, such as by using the Freudian trio model. All great stories repropose this primordial pattern in the description of the characteristics of the individual characters, which is necessary to know how to do storytelling because it makes it easier for the viewer to identify the components involved.
But what does this mean specifically?
It means sketching your characters through the characteristics of the triad instinct, passion, and reason, giving each of your subjects only one of these declinations. You will have to create a very clear and typified representation through the peculiarities of each of them without falling into stereotype.
Remember also that the Freudian trio can also be the way to tell the inner story of a single character, who will be more comprehensible to your audience. But the narrative technique of the Freudian trio is not the only arrow in your bow to get to the heart of your audience’s emotions.
Archetype-based storytelling can make your narrative even more effective. But what is meant by archetype?
According to Jung, the content of the collective unconscious leads to knowledge of reality according to typical forms that are constant in different cultural groups and historical eras. Therefore, We are talking about universal psychological models that can be used for character descriptions within your story and facilitate recognisability and identification by your audience.
What are the main archetypes you can use in your narrative? You can refer to the figure of the leader if you want a strong character who can guide your audience wisely, to that of the scientist if you prefer to talk about development and innovation. The healer will be fundamental if you see in your story the need to transform situations positively, just as the figure of the magician can bring to light hidden meanings that not everyone can see.
If you want to give a creative or unconventional tone to your story, you can refer to the figure of the artist. At the same time, you will use the archetype of the adventurer if you want to direct your audience toward the discovery of new worlds. This portrayal may be more specifically declined in the image of the rebel if you need a courageous character who wants to break out of the mold of the established order.
Nor can we forget the good parent who takes care of others and offers himself as a guide to solve a variety of problems, and the mysterious character, who is revealed in the course of the narrative and who determines much of the suspense of a tale.
These archetypal models can be declined in both positive and negative modes. They can remain identical from the beginning to the end of the tale but can also evolve in the course of it.
In this case, it is advisable to do so with caution so as not to distract or confuse the audience from the process of identification they carry out with the proposed model. Now that we have analyzed narrative techniques and the components of storytelling, we can begin to describe how to construct a compelling tale with words and images.
How to write a story, and how to use words
In creating a corporate story, in corporate storytelling, the correct use of words proves fundamental to the success of the narrative. You have to choose them carefully and precisely by exploiting the whole vast range of possibilities that a language gives you, diversifying them with synonyms, limiting them, and specifying them until you get the desired result.
Choose words that are consistent with the tone of voice of your story: perhaps using strong elements that will enhance the dynamism of over-the-top dialogues or choosing delicate words if you have to describe a benevolent and bucolic nature instead – imagining the register you want to give to your narration will show you how to choose the most consistent gradations and nuances from the point of view of language use.
We can also utilize the power of appropriate language styles to characterize our narrative effectively. You can use the military style if the intent is to induce action while using the political style, you can inflame your audience by stimulating adhesion and approval.
The sporting style is perfect for stories where agonism and competition reign, while the medical-style is more suitable if you have to deal with the major themes of life. The love register will not be missing if you have to charm and captivate your audience, while the economic style will prove to be the most effective in dealing with ideas related to data and values.
The religious register will be perfectly suited to content in line with themes such as fate or the supernatural. Choose an intriguing incipit to lead the reader along, introducing characters or setting a scene, creating a mood or motivating situation. Or use all the ways your imagination suggests and use the right words to become a good copywriter.
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Visual storytelling: stories with images
After playing with words, if you have decided to use photos or videos to create a visual storytelling story, you need to focus on the visual imagery of your audience.
But what is meant by the term visual imagery? You have to understand what is the set of symbolic, mythological, and fantastic representations of your audience. To do visual storytelling, you have to activate this imagination.
Think, for example, of words like family, home, etc., and link this to relevant visual content. As a consequence of the stimulus reaching our brain, a whole series of emotions and motor perceptions will be activated that will make the experience memorable, along with a much more effective fixation of memories.
However, you should also take into account the analysis of the psychological profiles and viewing and consumption habits of your audience before you start creating a storyboard. Only then can you design it effectively, always trying to connect it to the visual imagery of your audience.
Our visual storytelling can be made up of a variety of high-quality photos, videos, films, infographics, animations, etc. But to differentiate a simple descriptive image from producing visual storytelling, you will have to check that it possesses the following:
- strong dramatic and emotional tension
- a clear-cut setting that allows the audience to conjecture what happened before and after
- the possibility of strong identification
- a precise visual style suited to your audience’s desire for identification
Remember that you don’t have to take just any photo or shoot just any video to excite your audience, but you have to propose visual content steeped in narrative techniques, as described in the previous paragraphs.
So you can’t, for example, limit yourself to the correct study of light and color, but you will have to use them dynamically to highlight the characters’ moods or to emphasize particular emotional tones.
Or perhaps you may decide to associate a distinctive color scale that emphasizes an emotional unraveling over the duration of the narrative, linking it to character environments and objects – there is no limit to the imagination; just remember to always ask yourself whether the narrative will be consistent in meeting the needs of your audience.
Visual Storytelling example
Visual storytelling is the key to success, even on a social media site like Instagram: for example, the birth of Chiara Ferragni and Fedez’s child is publicized through emotional photos and descriptions that the viewer admires and identifies with at the same time, generating millions of likes and further increasing the fame of the famous couple.
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