Storytelling - the essentials

Brett’s lecture gave me a clear idea of the basic elements of storytelling. Any details that he didn’t put on the board, I could still catch by analyzing his communication style.

Things that are absolutely central to a well-told, captivating story are:




These tools aim at appealing to all senses, triggering the listeners’ imaginations, and immersing the audience into the world of the story.

In Brett's story, like in so many traditional stories, there also was a central hero, a problem, a solution, and a transformation that let to the solution. Not surprisingly, all three of us in class got different impressions of what those were!

I have also noticed that many stories have a certain rhythm to them. In our case there was several episodes of repetitive upward-and-downward movement. The fisherman threw his hook down and pulled it up, down again and up again.

Finally, an important element of a story is the ethical message, or moral. The story Brett told us in class had prominent demonstrations of what kind of behavior is simply “right”.

These elements and tools of storytelling have been used since times immemorial precisely because they are effective at moving and influencing the audience. For this reason they will continue to be used in the future.

In the context of our class, the application of storytelling tools in advertisement is important. We can expect to see use of movement, expression, and impacting of all the senses in commercials. Ethical messages – probably not so much.

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