I came across this piece by National Public Radio’s Scott Simon on “How to Tell a Story”. Scott works in the radio world, but everything he says here relates to storytelling excellence in video as well. At Doctor Of Content (my alter ego), I also think about storytelling as the most powerful and memorable way to get across a message. Here are some of the qualities that Scott suggests should be part of any great story.
- Great stories should have a point – something you can take away.
- Great stories should have a great beginning.
- Great stories should be told in short, breathable sections (tell it in breaths with a rhythm).
- Great stories should be conversational.
- Great storytellers should use new technologies (such as Twitter) to help find, and help others find, new stories.
- Great storytellers should have fun creating their stories (your energy will come through).
Here’s a few items that I would add.
- Should be memorable.
- Should have a strong ending.
- Should have a certain amount of suspense about their outcome. And, they should help pull us through to the conclusion.
- Should be conversation starters.
Scott Simon also tells a great story about how Winston Churchill captured an audience with a great story opening (it was only a few words long). I don’t want to spoil Scott or Winston’s thunder, so listen to Scott’s piece.