A picture is worth a thousand words… It is not just a random thought or piece of philosophy. It is a reality.
What a thousand word article will communicate may also be conveyed using one image. The impact may be similar or, the image may have the upper hand. And while extensive technical information is imparted more effectively through text even those scripts will require graphical illustration.
The History of Storytelling
Pictures and storytelling have been associated with humankind since the Paleolithic age, if not earlier. The earliest drawings can be traced back to the caveman.
While pictures certainly aid storytelling, what further strengthens a story is a strongly human narrative. The ability to relate to the story is the most important factor to focus on. You cannot possibly weave an interesting and convincing narrative unless your audience is personally relating to the story and finds it resonating. Some stories don’t invoke such personal connect but are impactful because they are amazing or in some way beneficial to the reader or the world.
Most stories strive to strike a chord with the audience.
Types of Stories
Case studies, real life incidents and stories that evoke human interest are some of the most endorsed and read stories around the world. This is primarily because people can relate to them.
Certainly in the business world, a theory out of the thin air (what someone believes but is not substantiated by the world around) or an abstract idea, regardless of how thrilling it is, and generic conclusions that do not really concern people do not find the desired reception.
Humans have an array of emotions, but several fundamental ones. We use many adjectives to express how we feel but essentially we feel happy or sad, afraid or assured. Our fears trigger our anxiety, uncertainty triggers our fears and experiences make our thoughts fragile or strong. Likewise, we want to feel assured, we like hearing stories of joy and we relate to stories of misfortune. These type of stories touch on our basic emotions and inspire a reaction.
Some examples of how you can use stories in your blog or website
- Case Studies
- Your About you page
- Product or Service reviews
- Sales pages
- Best of the web post (on a particular subject
- How to (“How I did…”)
- Problem solving with real-life examples
- Success stories (and failures)
- An issue / opinion / cause
- Business announcements – these may be about something personal from your staff – weddings, anniversaries, births etc
While theories, abstract ideas and generic studies are fine in an academic space they often don’t really qualify as great stories. Case studies can make theories more relate able to a wider audience. Preferably these case studies should have a relevant and representative group of people for the audience to be enticed. Abstract ideas must be rooted in reality to draw the correlation. Generic conclusions will seldom impact the minds of the people unless they are directly affected or concerned.
Humans relate to personal stories that connect with them emotionally. Any other type of story or storytelling cannot evoke such a response.
How to Use Stories to Connect with your Audience
1. Add Credibility
A story is the ideal way to underline your message – it shows it played out in the real world, a testimonial as it were. Humans trust the experience of others, giving testimonials weight. Experiences are passed on in the form of stories.
2. Connect You to your Readers
Emotions connect people – if you tell your story and convey your emotions, the audience will bond to you, and understand your real journey. Be engaging and real.
3. Provide Entertainment
People love to be entertained. So share something fun, outrageous, or surprising. Make them laugh, feel or be uplifted. Start your story with a great hook and reel them in.
4. Catch Their Attention
Stories naturally draw your readers in.
5. Inspire Them
All blogs and articles should have a call to action within the text or at least at the end. If you’ve inspired or motivated them or, maybe, you’ve touched their conscience – they’re more likely to take action.