Tell me a Story!

By Marilu Isabelle.

“No story lives unless someone wants to listen. The stories we love best do live in us forever...”

~ JK Rowling.

World Story-telling Day on the 20th March is a perfect opportunity to cosy up to your favourite book or think up some magical stories for the special little ones in your life.

It’s also a time to consider the benefits of story-telling. Many studies have been made into the psychological and therapeutic effects of story-telling. There have also been links in how it improves memory and mood. As individuals, we can use personal stories to motivate and connect to our listener. A famous and masterful story-teller was Nelson Mandela. Story-telling was engrained in his experiences growing up, hearing tales from his tribal elders. His unequivocal ability to have related and uplifted others through story continues to be an inspiration.

So, how can we use the power of story in our lives? Whether you’re bursting to share one with someone or you’re about to crack open a new notebook to write, here’s some key ingredients for the perfect story-telling recipe:

A large helping of excitement

Stories told both verbally and in writing need to communicate enthusiasm for the development of the story. If you’re sharing a personal story allow that emotional glue to stick to your audience.

A good amount of intention and practice

Have a story in mind you’d like to share for that day and continue to practice telling others when the opportunity arises. Likewise, whip open your notebook and select a story to write - tweaking, exaggerating, re-drafting. Or record your story to take the stress out of writing.

A handful of interesting details

If you’re recounting an event, keep in mind your listener will be absorbed by the details. Why not say that someone was ‘jumping for joy,’ rather than just being happy. Or the bright, yellow dress with embroidered sunflowers the woman wore, reminded everyone she passed that summer was approaching. The more detail and description you include, the more it allows your listener to visualise your story.

A dash of personal transformation

Stories about personal transformation have always intrigued and captured hearts. Whether it’s your own, someone you know or someone you’ve read about, the subject matter of overcoming adversity to a place of renewal is sure to hold your listener’s attention.

A sprinkling of a life lesson

Fables are popular stories taught to young children in the classroom with a reliable ‘moral’ at the end. But in our adult lives, where we meet situations with increasing complexity, being able to connect life’s struggles to your listener’s world is an incredibly useful tool. Sharing stories that remind us of our vulnerability as humans help us to examine our own lives.

Telling stories has been a part of our fabric since the beginning of human history. From ancient cave art to digital story-telling, we have used our creativity to inform, inspire and enthrall our audience. Why not tap into your story-telling power today and start connecting!

It all started...