Everyone loves a good story. In fact, telling stories is an effective way to connect with any audience. It doesn’t matter if you’re teaching a class, writing a blog post, or recording a podcast. The art of storytelling should be a large part of your content creation because it’s an excellent marketing strategy. The tough part is coming up with these stories in the first place. If you read on, you’ll find seven tip to keep the ideas flowing so you’ll have just the right one for any situation.
Share A Recent Encounter
We “walk past” – via social media and real life – numerous story ideas every day. Stories happen to you and all around you. In order to harness these ideas, think about who you’ve spoken to recently, what you’ve been up , or who you’ve encountered either online or in person. Now, think about how you can tie that into a blog post or email you need to write.
A Past Conversation
Even the most inconsequential conversation can have an effect on the rest of your day. A brief chat shared with a stranger while standing in line, or even the snippet of an online conversation in the comment section of a post. Is there something you can use from that to create a story? Without giving away too many personal details, you can use the essence of that conversation to impart a message to your readers.
Stories from our childhood often shape who we are today. Is there a childhood memory you can tie into current events or circumstances? There’s bonus points if the memory from your childhood equipped you to get through a current situation. Readers enjoy connecting through shared memories.
Pay Attention to Your Environment
This morning, it was extra quiet around my neighborhood and I was surprised to be able to tune my ears in to hear so many distinct bird calls. I was able to pick out a cardinal and a blue jay, as well as the busy chattering of a squirrel. In addition, I was also able to hear a telephone conversation my neighbor was having about picking up groceries and taking them to a shut-in relative. While I wouldn’t use that specific basic story for my audience, her conversation reminded me how important it is to help out those who may not be able to help themselves and gave me an idea to use as a side plot in a story of mine.
Take Notes in the Moment
As a writer, I am always on the alert for a good story. Unfortunately, there are so many things to remember on a regular basis, that it’s hard to keep all those ideas in your brain. So, as not to forget those juicy storytelling ideas, either jot them down with the old-fashioned pen/pad combination or use the notes app on your phone. You’ll thank yourself later, I promise.
Have Meaningful Conversations
I have three children, and when they’d come home from school, I’d make a point of sitting down with them and chatting about their day. You’d be surprised at the drama going on within the walls of the school: and I’m not just talking about the students. Children can be quite astute, and they pick up on the gossip of teachers. I’ve heard about unplanned pregnancies, spats between teachers, and what teacher got called the principal’s office and why! So many stories, so little time.
Another good way to get people to pay attention to your stories is to surprise them. Hook your readers by connecting two seemingly unconnected things, such as, “How training my dog to fetch helped increase my wordcount by a thousand word per day”. That’s right! That’s an eye- catching title, isn’t it? I almost wish it were true. It’s a good example of how skills sets can transfer from one event to another, and would make a great story.
It’s so easy to lose one’s creativity when under stress. Sometimes you may feel the well has run dry and you can’t squeeze out one more story. But storytelling connects us as humans. Everyone loves a good campfire tale. This is why you need to keep your radar up for story ideas.
Until next time,