Storytelling is one of the most essential parts of any marketing effort. From publicly delivered speeches to copywriting and brand-building, they all require a bit of magic to transport the audience. However, despite such a fundamental need for the art of storytelling, not all marketers truly understand the components of remarkable and unforgettable storytelling.
Here, 12 experts from Young Entrepreneur Council share their insights into the elements of exquisite storytelling by reflecting on the following question:
Q: What’s one important component of excellent storytelling, whether it’s face to face, public speaking, copywriting or brand-building, and why?
Below, they list some of the most important storytelling elements and how these components impact the audience and compel them to take action.
1. A Conflict and Solution
A good story has certain elements, such as conflict and overcoming a problem. In a good book or movie, the hero faces some obstacle and has to get past it using ingenuity or courage. You have to think about this principle when telling stories about anything, including business. There has to be a “plot” that readers, viewers, or listeners engage with and a “hero” with whom they can empathize. – Kalin Kassabov, ProTexting
Authenticity is key. In these times, audiences aren’t led by superficial aspects of a story. On the contrary, it is the authenticity that generates empathy with the audience and allows them to move forward in making a connection. It is important that the narrative is charged with authenticity and those real moments that the person has gone through to get to where they are. – Kevin Leyes, Leyes Media
A crucial part of storytelling is telling a story that’s universal, meaning that anyone can relate to it. If your audience can relate to the message you send, they’ll feel connected to you and your brand. Think of ways you can connect with your audience that other businesses don’t bother with. It’ll set you apart from the competition. – Jared Atchison, WPForms
4. Purpose and Structure
Excellent storytelling includes a story with a purpose and structure. There’s a huge difference between mixing rambling with telling a story and sharing something that has a point. If your story fails to share a greater lesson or purpose, you might lose your audience. Make sure you know where the story is going so you can map it out correctly. – Stephanie Wells, Formidable Forms
Make every story accessible. Your story needs to relay a universal need. Your audience needs to be able to assume a role that would be familiar to them or they can relate to; otherwise, your story will not land. Ultimately, people care about themselves. You have a small amount of time and attention before you lose your audience, so you need to bring them into your story and make it about them. – Matthew Capala, Alphametic
You can’t tell a good story without being relatable. Understanding your audience and why they are there can help improve your storytelling. Show people that you’ve been where they are, and then connect your growth to the story and lesson you’re presenting. – Chris Christoff, MonsterInsights
Build people’s emotions. Start by setting your tone, mood, and voice lightly. Then build the emotions, excite people, and set the emotions high enough to make people want more. Make them crave more. Make them want to see the ending. Whether it is through your eyes, voice, words, or pictures. Find ways to entice and excite people. – Daisy Jing, Banish
Whether your audience is just one person or many, your story has to inspire curiosity in them to make the kind of impact a good story makes. A beautiful dress can only be appreciated if people see it. So for me, it starts with curiosity first. Tell stories people can relate to and continue to use curiosity throughout the story to get them from one set of activities to another. – Samuel Thimothy, OneIMS
9. A Climax
Storytelling is like a math equation. It could be very complex or very simple depending on who’s telling it or what the story is about. One important component of excellent storytelling would be its climax. If there’s no “wow” effect on your story then it will be boring. There needs to be some sort of emotional essence in it that grabs the audience’s attention and that they’ll remember. – Fritz Colcol, ABN Circle
One of the most important components of storytelling is melody. By adding some music or audio in the background you can easily enhance the quality of your story. It’s a great way of triggering emotions in your audience’s psyche, which can make it more relatable for your audience. – Thomas Griffin, OptinMonster
11. An Engaging Narrative
Having an engaging narrative is the single most important element of storytelling. You want to be able to capture your audience’s attention and keep it. If you have an interesting story to tell, then you will be able to keep their attention. – Kristin Kimberly Marquet, Marquet Media, LLC
12. Plain Language and Examples
The best way to tell a good story is by using plain language and examples. People like to listen to stories if they are relatable. Using simple, conversational language and examples to emphasize your point will make your story more engaging and digestible for listeners. – John Turner, SeedProd LLC
These answers are provided by Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most successful young entrepreneurs. YEC members represent nearly every industry, generate billions of dollars in revenue each year, and have created tens of thousands of jobs. Learn more at yec.co.