That’s right. Storytelling is a skill (just ask anyone who can’t tell a joke worth a damn). And like any other skill it can be improved and polished with practice.
Why work to improve this skill? Because it’ll serve you well in innumerable situations, both personally and professionally. It’ll help with your verbal and written communications for conveying ideas, framing challenges and enlightening the uninformed. It will enhance your social communications (see joke reference above), sales pitches, presentations, public speaking and networking. And just overall make you a hell of a lot more interesting.
A few simple things to remember:
- Know your story well – practice, so it comes across naturally
- Have a point (a la Steve Martin – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-JLbAePwoHQ)
- Keep it simple – add no extraneous details
- Make eye contact
- Exude energy – it’s actually a bit of a performance
- Be appropriately, not overly demonstrative
- Use analogies and metaphors
- Avoid people’s names and references that your audience won’t know
- Start and finish strong
Put a little work into developing your storytelling skills. Who knows, you might be the next Jimmy Fallon.
So, two marketers walk into a bar …