Your ultimate guide on how to be a good storyteller

By Madeline Miles

We crave connection. 

Human connection brings us so many physical, mental, and emotional well-being benefits. And while there are plenty of ways to connect with one another, one art form stands out: storytelling. 

Storytelling is one of the most ancient art forms, with history’s oldest known fictional story dating back to the third millennium B.C. Stories have stood the test of time. It’s both an art and science, a way of creating a deep connection with one person or a million people. 

So when it comes to being a good storyteller, it takes work. And while storytelling is a skill set to work at, it doesn’t always come second nature to everyone. Some people suffer from social anxiety, a disorder that 7.1% of adults live within the US. Others, like me, feel more comfortable with written storytelling versus oral storytelling or presentations. There are plenty of mediums today to tell stories, especially with social media

But when we boil down what it means to be a good storyteller, it means you’re a good connector. You can find something in the shared human experience that resonates with other people. You make people feel heard, feel validated, and feel listened to. As a good storyteller, you make people feel like they’re not alone. 

Let’s talk about how to be a good storyteller. In this post, you’ll like what qualities make a good storyteller. You’ll also learn how to put your storytelling skills to the test. And most importantly, you’ll learn why storytelling matters. 

Why is storytelling important? 

Storytelling has long been a tool to help affect change. It’s an art and a science to create connections between human beings. 

Storytelling can be used as a learning tool. Some of my best professors and teachers have one thing in common: they’re great storytellers. By building trust with their students, good storytellers can influence, inspire, and engage. Storytelling can actually help better equip students to be open to the act of learning. 

Storytelling can also be used to help drive behavior change. When you’re absorbed in a good story, you’re transported. I recently read a book that made me cry (multiple times) called Between the Mountain and the Sky by Maggie Doyne.

A story about an American woman who starts a community and school in rural Nepal, this book illustrated the good that the human race is capable of. While I haven’t had any of the experiences shared by the author in the book, I could feel them. In many ways, the book captured the power of storytelling to make a change. As a founder of a nonprofit and leader of a community school, Maggie Doyne used storytelling as a key fundraising tool for her organization. 

But at its core, storytelling is about connection. When we look at how connections impact your emotional well-being and mental fitness, it’s significant. In fact, 43% of us don’t feel connected to others in the workplaceOur Connection Crisis report shows that those with low social connections suffer. People who don’t have strong connections experience increased stress, anxietydepression, and burnout

Connection makes us feel like we belong. Through stories, we feel that inherent connection to the storyteller, to the characters, and to the heart of the story. In a time when people are increasingly isolated and lonely, storytelling can help bridge the connection gap. 

So whether you’re hoping to sharpen your storytelling skills or start building your storytelling foundation, we can help. How do you become a good storyteller? Let’s dig in. 

9 tips on how to become a better storyteller 

The art of storytelling is a powerful tool. You can master your storytelling technique to help create meaningful connections. Get ready to tell a good story, one word at a time. 

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