Remembering why we tell stories is just as important as how we tell them.
Bernadette Jiwa is a leading story educator and author of TEN storytelling books. Her dedication to teaching people how to be persuasive and inspiring by sharing stories to win the heart, has been a north star for my own journey to dedicate myself to storytelling.
One of the key lessons I've learned from her is that stories can be powerful agents of change, but only when we've earned the trust of people we connect with.
How do we do that?
Honesty and vulnerability go a long way. Sharing personal stories, even in a business context, is paramount - because behind every brand and business are people like us, who may share in our struggles, recognize our challenges, or share our values.
One of her frameworks for crafting a meaningful story is beautifully simple.
Engage → Challenge → Change
Engage the audience
People are busy - to earn their attention, we must spark their interest.
Show the challenge
Struggle makes us care. Remember the conflict - without it, there's no story. Challenges and rising stakes help us stay invested in a story.
Show the change
If I've been repeating myself about the necessity of transformation, it's because ultimately I believe it's why we tell stories in the first place. If there's no change, stories are boring.
The greatest stories leave us with a revelation, a truth to ponder, an epiphany.
"The goal isn't to make people listen - it's to make them care." Bernadette Jiwa