Elements of Storytelling





Most people can tell a story, but only a select few have the ability to articulate it in such an engaging way that it becomes a great story.

Here are the main elements needed to take your storytelling to new heights:

  • Open with a bang. A good first line that hits the audience and makes them sit up and listen. Feed in the context, purpose and background to the story. 
  • Remember body language and facial expressions can add extra dimensions to your personal story. 
  • Immerse your audience in the story by taking them on the journey through your arc, which should have a strong start, build momentum in the middle, and pack a good punch at the end.
  • At the heart of every story are characters we care about. Vary your tone and style of dialogue to bring your characters to life. Sharing their fortunes and misfortunes is the gold dust that will make people want to shed a tear, laugh out loud, or tell their friends about how you tugged their heartstrings tugged.
  • Avoid rambling, reading an essay, or worse still, ranting. No fake accents and no putting down a culture that is not your own Avoid anything that may be considered hate speech, racist, homophobic, ageist, or misogyny.  
  • This is a story about you so you should know your story inside out. Whilst you can read it from written notes if this gives you the confidence and comfort to perform at your best, the best storytellers are able to recount a story while maintaining good levels of eye contact with the audience. The incredible artists practice enough to be able to recite without worrying about being word perfect.
  • Make it memorable by appealing to the raw emotion of the audience. Make people sit up and care. Include a surprise element or raise the stakes so the audience sit up and care about the consequences, conflict, or outcome.
  • Take a few deep breathes before you begin to calm any stage nerves and don’t rush. Remember people are there to hear your story and support you so relax into the moment and enjoy basking in the spotlight.
  • Stay on theme, on time, and be true to yourself.