The art of storytelling and narrative can be found in all areas of our lives. Music, film, theatre, art, dance, advertising, religion… the list goes on. They all have a storyline. Stories have been shared in every culture to entertain, educate, preserve culture, and instil moral values. Native American’s believed, ‘those who tell the stories rule the world’. So how can we tell better stories, and what is the truth about storytelling?
Storytelling starts with understanding your message well enough to share that as part of a wider narrative. Walt Disney is quoted as saying, “art is capturing one or all of the five senses. The best art captures your imagination.” Believability and fascination make for a compelling story. We’ve all written a story about ourselves, whether we know it or not, based on what we’ve seen growing up, heard about ourselves, and what we’ve learnt about the world from our parents. Those beliefs shape how we see our place in society and what we feel is normal or realistic, dictating how we relate to the people around us.
A new story can be told at any time by using your imagination. Role models can capture your imagination, however it is very easy to admire them so much that you take on their flaws. This can be done without ever living their experience, but by exploring your imagination you can tell a great personal story and share engaging narrative through your artform. You have the ability to influence and inspire others through storytelling. An authentic story is infused with feelings that sum up the message being shared. Common themes can be used for people relate to your story, with love being a universal language. A story is told in the way you live your life, and the decisions you make. Beliefs about the past, present, and future can be changed in a single moment through the power of a new story. Stories represent new ideas and new possibilities.
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Deb McKoy is the Founder and Consultant at Peppergrain Ltd, London, UK. She began her career as a recording artist, achieving success in the UK national charts before going on to help businesses and individuals maximise their brand.