Ty Bennett asks: Does your story have a bad guy yet?
Don’t tell lies like the boy who cried wolf, and don’t worry about being last, because the tortoise and the hare proved that slow and steady wins the race.
We all remember these lessons from childhood folktales, but what about making our own stories memorable to children?
That is where Ty Bennett’s new book, “The Power of Storytelling: The Art of Influential Communication” comes in as a guide.
Stories can be used in various ways as an influential form of communication, whether they are serving as a lesson or a relate-able anecdote to a future employer.
So it is important to get the storytelling strategy down pat in order to make your story memorable enough for others — like your kids, years down the line — to retell.
Struggle to solution
While telling a bedtime story to his 2-year-old, Bennett adopted the “struggle to solution” technique after his child critiqued his technique with: “That’s not a story, there’s no bad guy.”
“There’s something about conflict and challenge that engages us emotionally,” Bennett says.” The struggle is the hook of the story.”
So once you have successfully hooked your listener, you have then acquired the power to provide them with a solution that can serve as a life lesson or a story worth remembering.
“If you connect with the problem,” Bennett says, “and the person who is hearing the story resonates that, then they’re going to want to adopt that [solution] into their life.”
Make it conversational
“With kids, you need to engage them, so you need to ask a lot of questions and make it conversational,” Bennett says. “It really helps them to get into the story so they experience it … so they really feel and understand the story.”
Why is this important?
Maybe you aren’t looking to tell stories to kids, but that doesn’t make this skill any less useful. According to Bennett, storytelling is the easiest, most influential form of communication.
“Regardless of what you do for a living,” says Bennett, “you can’t escape the fact that you’re going to need to communicate with people, and the more influential you become, the better that communication becomes, the more influence and impact you can have on people’s lives.”
So maybe in your next job interview, you will tell a remarkably memorable story that will make you relate-able and stand out — or maybe you will teach your kids to just say no to the negativity around them through an experience you went through.
But whatever it is, make sure you’ve used your newfound storytelling skills to make the story memorable and a powerful, influential experience.
Follow Julie Kayzerman on Twitter @juliekayzerman