Storytelling is a dying art. For many many years, parents thrilled children with tales by the moonlight. Tales ranging from the evolution of man to his fall, as well as, little snippets about the ancient gods of fire, air, water, and earth. These days, not so much.
Can you imagine that there are parents that can’t even tell jokes, let alone a full-blown story? Tragic to say the least. What’s more tragic? Laughing midway into a joke or forgetting the other half of the story after a pretty decent build-up. Whoever is guilty of this deserves prison time. I’m sorry Uncle Uche, you have to go!
The outlandish headline sells the story.
Every story begins with a hook. In fishing, you need the hook to well, hook in your fish. A “hook” is your opener. It’s the attention-getter, the question or quote that immediately hooks your listener or reader.
Why did the chicken cross the road?
The above only works for a younger inquisitive audience. For an older audience, you need to go all out…
Why are men unfaithful in relationships?
And just like that, you’ve drawn in a large audience of the other gender. And in addition to them, there would also be some unfaithful men reading/listening in like
Yeah, tell us, why are we unfaithful?
Sold! You, my dear, are in business! It’s time to cash in on your very eager audience.
Tell the story. Don’t state events like we were there with you, captivate your audience. If it means taking long unnecessary pauses for dramatic effect, go for it. If you need to put out the lights, all well and good. Just check with your parents first.
Feel free to bait your audience. Bait is a series of implicit or explicit questions you the storyteller raises. Don’t just make them anxious, answer those questions. Nobody has time to be anymore anxious. Unless you’re just trying to feed their anxiety and leave them hanging. In which case, go for it!
Do a lot of Reflection. Don’t just tell the story for the story’s sake. The reason people share (and listen to) stories is because often there is an objective. In your very sober reflection, you could go the “WhatsApp Aunty” route
I told this story to three people and since then, they’ve gone on to become billionaires. So Listen!
You have to stifle the urge to ask about her own billions. Or you do the old fashioned “Pastor” move.
If you don’t listen to what I’m about to tell you now (long endless pausssseeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee) you will DIE!
Now listen, there was a man who denied the supremacy of God…
At the end of the day, it should be clear that you’re doing all you can to help us the audience, understand what we’re supposed to get from the story. If you want us to know the importance of washing our hands, kindly hint it at the beginning so that some of us can kindly excuse ourselves (again Dad, I’m not throwing Subliminals at you in any way).
If at the end of your story, you get a rousing ovation. You, my dear, must have told the worst story ever in the history of stories. If people just sigh and move on with their lives after you’re done, you’ve probably pervaded their minds by telling the most intriguing tale ever. They will probably repeat it to the first person they come across. Congratulations, you’re in their heads.
I’ll leave you with the shortest and most intriguing story ever.
‘Why do people still take my posts seriously?’, I wondered to myself on a cold rainy Thursday night.
Could it be that the concepts of satire, sarcasm, and banter were lost on them?
Or that they have difficulty with comprehension?
Yes, their poor minds simply can’t take it.
Moral of this story?
It’s just banter!
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