How to be a good storyteller

Words are a powerful medium to express. Though written words are a beauty in itself but when given a voice they become more powerful. The emotions and characters come to life when stories get a voice.

Have you ever tried to be a storyteller in a get together with your family or friends or while travelling in a train with strangers?  Being able to tell an entertaining story is a terrific way to utilise time and to create a powerful impact on your audience. Even if you have attempted to be a storyteller, it is not necessary that you end up telling an impressive story. You may have a fantastic story to tell but it seems that for most of us, the art of telling a story seems to be just beyond our capacity.

Storytelling associates us and gets us in contact with our audience which may be more profound than ourselves. It’s nothing unexpected that new talents are utilising narrating, to convey their very own vision for quite a long time and also to build a brand image out of it.

However, one of the important questions is what makes a delightful story? And how can we become good storytellers? And if we are not a good story teller then how can we become one.

Storytelling is not only about creating images for a new talent or branding of a new product in the market so that it should reach the target audience. Storytelling is also important to writers and content creators of all kinds, communicating fiction and nonfiction stories.

However, storytelling is something which we are altogether inclined towards to some extent. Everybody has a fantasy of publishing their own book, and everybody has stories which are fantastic and unique in their own way, that characterizes their lives. Believe it or not but it’s true, everyone has a story.

One must consider the following points while venturing into the art of storytelling:

·         Identify your audience:

We must identify the appropriate audience for whom we have created the story. This is important in light of the fact that it will decide the impact of your story. It’s no point providing water to the person who is not thirsty as he won’t realise it’s worth. In the same way, if you identify the wrong audience your storytelling would be a futile effort. If you identify your audience well, then it will be much easier to reach out to them with your stories and messages.

·         Identify the context and elaborate:

Being a storyteller, we are aware about the story, we know where our story is heading towards and how it’s going to end. It’s very important for us to set the context and elaborate more about the characters, its physical appearance, habits etc. Strong characterisation always helps to attract the interest of the audience.

·         Don’t lose the grip:

If you are not good at editing and filtering your thoughts real time, in your mind then it’s obvious that you will get into unwanted details which are not relevant to the story. Such mistakes will distract your audience and you will end up losing the grip of your audience.

·         Avoid adding unnecessary details while narrating real incidents:

The more frequently we narrate the same story, the little addition we will in general include. If we add unnecessary add up, those accounts float further and further far from the events that really occurred. Inevitably, you may finish up depicting something that never happened by any means.

·         Notice your audience:

Make sure to monitor your audience (by making eye contacts, if they are in front of you) and stay connected with them (by seeking feedback, if they are away). Keep the session interactive, if you are in front of an audience. If you have a sad story to narrate, be sure that you don’t go for so long that you’re putting stress on the audience. Take your audience on an emotional journey. Make them feel your story.

·         Story should have unpredictable ending:

If you want your readers or listener to spend some quality time on your story then you better come up with a most unpredictable ending, does not matter if it’s a little weird. A Story is good because it has a great ending not because it has an unexpected beginning. Give enough space to your audience to build an ending in their minds but make sure that your ending is different than what they can think of.

Cheers!

Subrat Saurabh

5 Ways to deal with failure

If Thomas Edison would have stopped after failing for 10th attempts, then he would have never invented an electric bulb in his 10,000th attempt.

Sometimes things go as per the plan or even better than the expected but on some days, they don’t.  You commit an error, have difficulty or you essentially fall flat. It’s unpleasant but you cannot avoid it unless you avoid doing anything at all.

Don’t worry. It happens to all of us. We experience disappointment to different degrees. Some of us manage it well and some just give up.  Things can turn around quickly. Things will improve however before they do, you should figure out how to manage disappointment. Here are a few tips.

  1. Just accept the failure.

When you’ve quite recently fizzled, it will undoubtedly sting at times, a bit. In some cases, a great deal. That is OK.

Try not to attempt to push it away, by diverting yourself or by endeavoring to push the duty onto whatever is left of the world.

You must acknowledge that disappointments happen to everybody. Think about this experience as something, where you can gain from it. The initial step on managing disappointment is accepting that it occurred. Acceptance of failure is the best way to deal with it.

2. Stop thinking about the failure

Never let the rejection engulf you. If you allow failure to overpower you, you will always think that you can never make it next time. Stop thinking about failure and don’t let this stop you from succeeding in your next endeavor. Remember, you are not a failure just because you had a setback.

Keep reminding yourself, “Just because you failed today, does not mean that you will fail again”. Keep yourself engaged in your hobbies to refresh yourself and bounce back.

3. Give your disappointment a chance to get out. 

It’s obvious to get disappointed over something you buckled down for, yet could not accomplish it.

So proceed, let it out. Communicate with your friends about it. Take the necessary steps to dispose of the disappointment that keeps bubbling up in your mind.

Give your exhausted brain a break and engage in something that can pep-up your mind. Watch a favorite comedy show or go out with friends or well-wishers. You need to loosen up your mind to cope up with the pressure and try to be happy.

4. Give yourself 24 hours to overcome

It’s alright to feel tragic or grieve about the failure. However, just allow yourself 24 hours to adjust, accommodate and accept it. 24 hours ought to be sufficient time to ponder over the mistakes and move ahead from that point onward. Push ahead, begin anticipating what to do straightaway, what your next activities ought to be and what you should deal with to make progress.

5. Plan your next moves

Try not to get stuck and get neck deep into stagnancy rather endeavor to make your next steps effective.

You’ve already learnt from your failure. It’s high time to buckle up and work smart to make the progress. Write down your next goals and go for it to achieve.

No Failure is strong enough to pin you down to the floor unless you refuse to get up. So accept it as a part of life, deal with it, learn from it, make efforts to overcome and success would be knocking at your door.

“Stay Focussed and Be Successful”

10 productive things to do during this pandemic.

Believe it or not but we, the people across the world have been forced to maintain social distancing and most of us are staying home without much choice. Although we always enjoy the company of family and long to get enough time with them, we never imagined to get into such a situation, where too much availability for each other in the family can get stressful sometimes. Maybe, we are missing to get missed, we are probably missing that personal space? Someone has rightly said, “We always want to work from home but never asked for so much work from home”.

Being a social creature and then getting confined to the four walls, sometimes get to the nerves. However, when we do not have a choice to change the situation around, the question arises how to adapt? I would say create a change, a positive change in you and your surroundings.

We can utilise our pandemic time productively in the following ways, without stepping out of our homes:

1. Learn one new technical skill – You don’t need to be a perfectionist or a subject matter expert but learning a new skill will keep your mind fresh and keep you motivated. This is the best way to manage this stressful time.

2. Join a reading challenge on Goodreads. Set reading goals , it does not matter how small this goal is. Go for it! You can track a reading target on Goodreads and connect to many like minded readers. You can read a book of a genre of your taste. 

3. Get into someone else’s shoe. Try to understand what your spouse or parents do during the day. What is their skill set? Learn and spend some time with them to understand their pain area and success story. This will help you to understand someone else’s perspective.

4. Make a note and organise your work. Prepare a to-do list for the next day. Keep a track of all those minor activities like insurance premium payment, electricity bill payment, Internet payment etc so that you don’t miss anything important. Cultivate this habit which is extremely important to lead a disciplined life.

5. Workout at home – Even if you hate doing work out, it’s important to do some light exercise or yoga during this time. You can refer to any yoga tutorials or exercise on YouTube. It’s the best way to get relief from stress and it keeps your nerves calm. It will also build your immunity. 

6. Learn cooking – You know the best part to learn cooking is that you are always more independent than most of those who hate even preparing tea or cooking Maggi noodles. Believe me if you love food you will love cooking and pampering your taste buds.

7. Help the needy – Extend your support to those who are struggling during this pandemic time. You can support them financially and emotionally. 

8. Be active socially – Be in touch with your loved ones through frequent calls, messages and video chat. Stay connected. Share your thoughts with them and speak out. 

9. Keep your surroundings clean – This could be a most boring suggestion but it’s very important to keep ourselves and surroundings clean and stay away from getting infected. This is the utmost need of the hour. If you still feel uninterested repeat the mantra, “Cleanliness is next to Godliness”.

10. Make a plan for the future. Discuss and make a plan to travel or a plan for your professional growth or something like that which you can do as soon as things get normal.

Remember, we have to maintain social-distancing and fight COVID-19 with best of our capacity.

Cheers!

Subrat Saurabh