Here in Washington, D.C. we have amazing resources to learn about storytelling. Story District and Story Tapestries are two of my favorites. I strive to connect with every audience and as such I need to use stories as part of my approach. They’re not always easy to craft, but they can be absolute gold when written and delivered well.

two pale blue butterflies on early dandelion stems

If you’re wanting to boost your storytelling techniques, consider these elements:

  1. Context – When and where?
  2. Characters – Who and roles?
  3. Tension – What’s at stake?
  4. Change – What changes by the end of the story?
  5. Action – What moves the plot forward?
  6. Color – Make it alive with images and metaphors.
  7. Inner Voice – What are you thinking as events unfold?
  8. Meaning – What is the truth, the lesson of the story?

The beauty of stories is that we can change them up to unlock new ways of thinking, feeling and acting. Stories can become dated, too – we don’t need to hang onto them when they lose their meaning or guidance. If you’re trying to heal or to stretch yourself explore what can catapult you into a better and more desirable place in a narrative form.

For me, drilling down to decide what will resonate with the audience takes time and research. Considering its point of view is critical when trying to get through and to get action. Word choice, expression and honesty aren’t always easy — even if the story seems simple.

Writing what I know and sharing from the heart are the best ways to get started, when I’m staring at a blank piece of paper.