Feb 16 • 13M

Become a Better Podcaster: 10 Essential Tips of Storytelling

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Appears in this episode

Brian Colburn
"I'd Podcast That 2.0" is a show filled with "Premium" resources and information for successful podcasting, in support of the "I'd Podcast That" online community and the "A Podcasters Newsletter on substack. Surround yourself with successful podcasters! This is not necessarily a how-to, more of how to do it better!
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If you are going to achieve excellence in big things, you develop the habit in little matters. Excellence is not an exception, it is a prevailing attitude.

Charles R. Swindoll

From the Studio

Stories have the power to captivate, inspire, and connect. Whether you're telling a personal story, a fable, or a tale from history, the art of storytelling is a timeless skill that can be developed and improved upon with practice.

In this article, we've compiled 10 expert tips to help you become a better storyteller, in turn, improving your podcast. From using body language to telling stories with passion, these tips will guide you on your journey to becoming a more engaging and effective storyteller.

Whether you're a seasoned veteran or just starting out, these tips will help you enhance your skills and captivate your audience every time.

Tip 1: Know your audience

As a storyteller, it's important to understand who you're speaking to. This can help you tailor your story to resonate with them and keep their attention. When you know your audience, you can consider their interests, backgrounds, and expectations and create a story that speaks directly to them.

For example, if you're speaking to a group of young children, you may choose a story with colorful characters and a simple plot that's easy for them to understand. On the other hand, if you're speaking to a group of business professionals, you may choose a story that highlights leadership or innovation.

Knowing your audience will also help you choose the right tone for your story. If you're speaking to a group of seniors, you may want to use a more gentle, nostalgic tone, while if you're speaking to a group of teenagers, you may want to use a more energetic, relatable tone.

Tip 2: Start with a hook

A great story starts with a hook – an interesting opening that sets the tone for the rest of your story. A hook should be attention-grabbing and make your audience want to hear more.

Think about what will capture your audience's attention and start your story with that. For example, you could start with a surprising statistic, a personal experience, or a vivid description of a scene.

Starting with a hook will help you get your audience's attention from the very beginning and keep them engaged throughout the rest of your story.

Tip 3: Develop characters

Strong, relatable characters are the foundation of any good story. Take the time to create well-rounded characters that your audience will care about.

When developing your characters, consider their background, motivations, strengths, and weaknesses. Give them unique personalities and quirks that will make them stand out.

When you have strong characters, your audience will be invested in their journeys and will want to know what happens to them.

Tip 4: Build tension

A good story should have moments of tension or conflict that keep the audience engaged and invested in the outcome. Tension can come in many forms – a moral dilemma, a race against time, a competition, or a conflict between characters.

When you build tension into your story, you create a sense of urgency and anticipation that will keep your audience on the edge of their seat.

Think about what's at stake for your characters and what obstacles they'll face along the way. The more tension you can create, the more engaging your story will be.

Tip 5: Use sensory language

Using sensory language can bring your story to life and help your audience visualize the events you're describing. Describe the sights, sounds, smells, and textures that your characters experience.

For example, instead of simply saying, "The forest was dark and quiet," you could say, "The dense trees blocked out the moonlight, creating a dark and eerie silence that was only broken by the occasional hoot of an owl."

Using sensory language will help your audience experience your story in a more vivid and memorable way.

Tip 6: Show, don't tell

When you're telling a story, it's important to show, not just tell, what's happening. Instead of simply telling your audience what's happening, use vivid descriptions and dialogue to bring your story to life.

For example, instead of saying, "The character was sad," you could describe their body language and the tone of their voice, or have them say something that conveys their sadness.

When you show, not just tell, your audience will be able to experience the story in a more vivid and engaging way

Tip 7: Use body language

Your body language and gestures can add extra dimension to your storytelling, making it more engaging for your audience. Use your body language to convey the emotions and attitudes of your characters, and to help bring your story to life.

For example, if you're telling a story about a character who's angry, you can use gestures such as fists clenching, eyebrows furrowed, or a tense posture to convey their anger. On the other hand, if you're telling a story about a character who's happy, you can use gestures such as a wide smile, open arms, or a relaxed posture.

Using body language will help your audience experience your story in a more immersive way, and will also help you bring your characters to life.

Tip 8: Practice, practice, practice

The more you practice telling stories, the more comfortable and confident you'll become. Try telling stories to friends, family, or even a mirror. Experiment with different styles and techniques, and try to get feedback from others on what works and what doesn't.

Practice will also help you develop your own unique voice as a storyteller. You'll start to get a feel for what works best for you and what resonates with your audience.

Tip 9: Tell stories with passion

The energy and enthusiasm you bring to your storytelling can help make your stories more memorable and engaging. When you're passionate about what you're telling, your audience will feel that energy and be more invested in your story.

Think about what you're passionate about and what stories you want to share with the world. When you're telling stories that you're passionate about, you'll be more confident and engaging, and your audience will be more invested in what you have to say.

Tip 10: Know when to stop

A good story should have a clear beginning, middle, and end. Know when to stop talking to avoid losing your audience's attention. A story that goes on for too long can become boring, and your audience may start to tune out.

When you reach the end of your story, try to wrap it up in a satisfying way that ties up loose ends and leaves your audience feeling satisfied. And, of course, be sure to leave a little bit of room for interpretation and reflection, so that your audience can continue to think about your story long after you've finished telling it.

Becoming a better storyteller takes practice and dedication, but by following these tips, you can improve your skills and become a more engaging and effective storyteller.

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