Transformational Storytelling & the Age of Distrust: A Conversation From Jordan Bower
We all have that one friend that can tell a story so well that the entire room listens to it. While some people are naturals when it comes to storytelling, there is no real secret to perfecting one’s storytelling abilities.
What is a story to be exact? According to Jordan Bower, Chief Storyteller at Transformational Storytelling, storytelling is emotion. I can rephrase. Storytelling = emotions, it is what a person can or has experienced. Since everyone, at least the majority of people, has emotions, everyone has a story to tell.
So how do you tell a good story? Like I mentioned earlier, there is no secret to storytelling but there are ways you can guide your audience on your journey that make it more appealing and here’s how.
Our stories come from our brains, our hearts, and our stomachs. This can be translated into facts, emotions, and instincts. These are three components that each story possesses and can build from each other. Facts support your story, gives it credibility to your audience. Emotions give your story a connection, a way your audience can relate to you or your brand. Instinct, aka your gut feeling, provides a unique and personal touch to your story. It is what feels right to you or how you handled a situation that no one else has done.
You have a story so now what? What is so great about a story is that it never truly ends. It can easily be picked up wherever it is left off because as all things do, it grows and develops. Companies are starting to transition away from a one-story brand and are creating a living one that is always changing. An example of this can be seen in Nike’s brand as it has multiple layers. They are for athletes, adventure seekers, fitness gurus, and athletic fashionista’s. Prototyping is a way for you to experiment on how you tell your story and how it progresses. It is where you will find the most failure and growth. But it is important to remain authentic and true to your story’s beliefs.
Once you’ve settled on a narrative that you want to try, its time to move onto analysis or self-reflection. Sharing it with others, providing more research to support your stance, or reading and researching similar stories are great ways to grow your story’s strength. The stronger your story the more impactful it is. The more time you spend analyzing your story the better you will understand your audience and how it connects to your living brand. This isn’t, really, the final step as your brand is always moving and growing. You will find yourself going back to prototyping as your business model matures and as you mature as a storyteller. You will understand what works and what might need more work.
Above all, have fun with it! It is your story after all. Show off your uniqueness, your strengths, your weaknesses, and your growth. Be silly or dramatic, play into your story’s emotions and become more connected to your audience. There is no secret to storytelling other than being truly and authentically you.