To keep an audience engrossed, you need more than just a good story; you need an engaging story. This is because an engaging story has the potential to inspire, move, and motivate an audience. But what is the difference between a regular story and one that is able to arouse an audience and hold its attention? Here are six essential factors that go into making your stories more engaging:
1. Focalize Your Message
Get under the skin of your target audience to find out what makes them tick. Your aim should be to make your story converge with your audience’s experience. Look at your story from their perspective, and adapt the form and content as necessary, so you can offer a focused message that truly hits home.
2. Project Your Vision
Create a vivid mental image to show your audience what you want to achieve. But don’t talk about your vision in terms of what you are going to do in the future. Talk about it from a future perspective, and describe how you made your vision a reality. Doing it this way makes for a much stronger story, as though it already has happened.
3. Show Your Struggles
Don’t be afraid to share with your audience how you struggled on journey to get where you are today. Tell them how you leapt over hurdles and overcame obstacles on the road to success. Share the challenges you faced, and express how you dealt with them in a calm and rational way.
4. Create Continuity
Each time you come out with a new story, remember that you are adding to the greater narrative. Every achievement, now and in the future, is part of the uninterrupted saga of your business or brand. That is why it is a good idea to place each story into the context of the wider narrative. In other words, show how each new story is a natural progression from what has gone before to what the next logical step will be.
5. Share Your Experiences
While you are on your journey, you are bound to experience highlights and crossroads. Share these important events in your professional life with your audience. Sharing how these events made you feel will help your audience to identify with you on a more personal level. Doing this strengthens the bond that is forged when you tell a good story.
6. Speak Metaphorically
Be careful about using abstract nouns. They are called abstract nouns because they defy fixed definition, so they are open to a wide variety of interpretations based on personal experience. To make sure your audience understands you, use metaphors or even similes to describe ideas, concepts, and emotions that can’t be perceived simply by using your five senses. When you use the right metaphor, you can create a much more memorable mental image.
To tell a truly engaging story, you need to actively involve your audience by appealing to their emotions and their need to find meaning. You can move an audience by transporting them to a world of your own creation, where your business or brand converges perfectly with their wants and needs. But if you want your audience’s loyalty, you need to tell true and personal stories to gain their trust.