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How To Share Your Stories In A Way That Everyone Would Listen To You So Eagerly

How To Share Your Stories In A Way That Everyone Would Listen To You So Eagerly

You’re having dinner with a big group of friends, someone shared his recent experience and everyone listened so attentively and laughed so hard. While when another friend tried to shared his too, people lost their focus and he couldn’t even finish telling his story.

Why is there such a difference?

It’s not about their appearance or the depth of relationship. Because those people seem to be able to get the attention everywhere. What make them amazing storytellers are the skills they have!

Even if you are not a writer you still need to tell stories EVERY DAY. We tell stories to pitch to our boss, we share our stories with our loved ones, we make new friends by sharing interesting experience, etc. If we can master the skills it’ll be much easier to get your message crossed and better your relationships.

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This article will offer you several storytelling techniques. With a grip of them, you will soon become a good storyteller too.

Begin your story with a solid framework

Although storytelling is free and imaginative, a story should not be told wildly without any frame.

Instead, a good story should be told within a solid framework. And if you think about it, any great piece of literature or movie imbeds this framework:

  • The story tells about a protagonist, which means a main character.
  • The protagonist desires to fulfil a goal, or solve a problem.
  • There are difficulties, or more literarily saying, there are conflicts or struggles, blocking the protagonist’s way to fulfil the goal or to solve the problem.
  • The protagonist overcomes, or resolves, the conflicts or struggles.
  • After the conflicts or struggles, the protagonist grows, or for worse, falls. 

Find it familiar? A lot of superhero films use this formula!

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Carefully plan your protagonist’s struggles

Another point you should pay attention to is that struggle part is essential to a good story.

Why is the struggle important to your story? Because the struggle separates what is called a story from what is daily chore.

Imagine a story is taken away all the struggles. What is left is a sole description of the daily life.

For example, in Hunger Games, if Katniss was not forced to take part in the Hunger Game, the whole show would not even exist at the first place.

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In this light, the importance of the struggle is self-evident.

And for this reason, you should be extra careful when telling your protagonist’s struggle. Depict the struggle vividly. And also reveal deeply what the protagonist is, what the protagonist feels before that life-changing struggle.

Trim off the unnecessary parts

Our final reminder for you to tell a good story is to cut out the unnecessary details in your story.

No one wants to listen to a repetitive and long-winded story.And the excessive details of your story can push off your audience.

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Make sure your story is clear of unnecessary details. To determine what is unnecessary, you may ask yourself:

  • Does it contribute to the delivery of the story’s message or theme?
  • Does it initiate or facilitate changes of the protagonist?
  • Does it help the audience know what to expect of the story?
  • Does it help to build emotions?

If the part you hesitate with does not answer the above questions, very likely it is unnecessary. Then be bold to cut it out.

Remember sometimes less is more. What makes a good story is not overwhelming irrelevant details, but the powerful language and propelling content.

More by this author

Chris Cheung

Editorial Intern, Lifehack

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Last Updated on February 21, 2019

The Secret to Effective Conflict Resolution: The IBR Approach

The Secret to Effective Conflict Resolution: The IBR Approach

In business, in social relationships, in family… In whatever context conflict is always inevitable, especially when you are in the leader role. This role equals “make decisions for the best of majority” and the remaining are not amused. Conflicts arise.

Conflicts arise when we want to push for a better quality work but some members want to take a break from work.

Conflicts arise when we as citizens want more recreational facilities but the Government has to balance the needs to maintain tourism growth.

Conflicts are literally everywhere.

Avoiding Conflicts a No-No and Resolving Conflicts a Win-Win

Avoiding conflicts seem to be a viable option for us. The cruel fact is, it isn’t. Conflicts won’t walk away by themselves. They will, instead, escalate and haunt you back even more when we finally realize that’s no way we can let it be.

Moreover, avoiding conflicts will eventually intensify the misunderstanding among the involved parties. And the misunderstanding severely hinders open communication which later on the parties tend to keep things secret. This is obviously detrimental to teamwork.

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Some may view conflicts as the last step before arguments. And they thus leave it aside as if they never happen. This is not true.

Conflicts are the intersect point between different individuals with different opinions. And this does not necessarily lead to argument.

Instead, proper handling of conflicts can actually result in a win-win situation – both parties are pleased and allies are gained. A better understanding between each other and future conflicts are less likely to happen.

The IBR Approach to Resolve Conflicts

Here, we introduce to you an effective approach to resolve conflicts – the Interest-Based Relational (IBR) approach. The IBR approach was developed by Roger Fisher and William Ury in their 1981 book Getting to Yes. It stresses the importance of the separation between people and their emotions from the problem. Another focus of the approach is to build mutual understanding and respect as they strengthen bonds among parties and can ultimately help resolve conflicts in a harmonious way. The approach suggests a 6-step procedure for conflict resolution:

Step 1: Prioritize Good Relationships

How? Before addressing the problem or even starting the discussion, make it clear the conflict can result in a mutual trouble and through subsequent respectful negotiation the conflict can be resolved peacefully. And that brings the best outcome to the whole team by working together.

Why? It is easy to overlook own cause of the conflict and point the finger to the members with different opinions. With such a mindset, it is likely to blame rather than to listen to the others and fail to acknowledge the problem completely. Such a discussion manner will undermine the good relationships among the members and aggravate the problem.

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Example: Before discussion, stress that the problem is never one’s complete fault. Everyone is responsible for it. Then, it is important to point out our own involvement in the problem and state clearly we are here to listen to everyone’s opinions rather than accusing others.

Step 2: People Are NOT the Cause of Problem

How? State clearly the problem is never one-sided. Collaborative effort is needed. More importantly, note the problem should not be taken personally. We are not making accusations on persons but addressing the problem itself.

Why? Once things taken personally, everything will go out of control. People will become irrational and neglect others’ opinions. We are then unable to address the problem properly because we cannot grasp a fuller and clearer picture of the problem due to presumption.

Example: In spite of the confronting opinions, we have to emphasize that the problem is not a result of the persons but probably the different perspectives to view it. So, if we try to look at the problem from the other’s perspective, we may understand why there are varied opinions.

Step 3: Listen From ALL Stances

How? Do NOT blame others. It is of utmost importance. Ask for everyone’s opinions. It is important to let everyone feel that they contribute to the discussion. Tell them their involvement is essential to solve the problem and their effort is very much appreciated.

Why? None wants to be ignored. If one feels neglected, it is very likely for he/she to be aggressive. It is definitely not what we hope to see in a discussion. Acknowledging and being acknowledged are equally important. So, make sure everyone has equal opportunity to express their views. Also, realizing their opinions are not neglected, they will be more receptive to other opinions.

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Example: A little trick can played here: Invite others to talk first. It is an easy way to let others feel involved and ,more importantly, know their voices are heard. Also, we can show that we are actively listening to them by giving direct eye-contact and nodding. One important to note is that never interrupt anyone. Always let them finish first beforeanother one begins.

Step 4: Listen Comes First, Talk Follows

How? Ensure everyone has listened to one another points of view. It can be done by taking turn to speak and leaving the discussion part at last. State once again the problem is nothing personal and no accusation should be made.

Why? By turn-taking, everyone can finish talking and voices of all sides can be heard indiscriminantly. This can promote willingness to listen to opposing opinions.

Example: We can prepare pieces of paper with different numbers written on them. Then, ask different members to pick one and talk according to the sequence of the number. After everyone’s finished, advise everyone to use “I” more than “You” in the discussion period to avoid others thinking that it is an accusation.

Step 5: Understand the Facts, Then Address the Problem

How? List out ALL the facts first. Ask everyone to tell what they know about the problems.

Why? Sometimes your facts are unknown to the others while they may know something we don’t. Missing out on these facts could possibly lead to inaccurate capture of the problem. Also, different known facts can lead to different perception of the matter. It also helps everyone better understand the problem and can eventually help reach a solution.

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Example: While everyone is expressing their own views, ask them to write down everything they know that is true to the problem. As soon as everyone has finished, all facts can be noted and everyone’s understanding of the problem is raised.

Step 6: Solve the Problem Together

How? Knowing what everyone’s thinking, it is now time to resolve the conflict. Up to this point, everyone should have understood the problem better. So, it is everyone’s time to suggest some solutions. It is important not to have one giving all the solutions.

Why? Having everyone suggesting their solutions is important as they will not feel excluded and their opinions are considered. Besides, it may also generate more solutions that can better resolve the conflicts. Everyone will more likely be satisfied with the result.

Example: After discussion, ask all members to suggest any possible solutions and stress that all solutions are welcomed. State clearly that we are looking for the best outcomes for everyone’s sake rather than battling to win over one another. Then, evaluate all the solutions and pick the one that is in favor of everyone.

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