STORYTELLING:  Three things you need to know

There are three important things with storytelling.

  1. The story.
  2. The audience.

Once you know these things, inside and out, you can move onto the other important thing, the most important thing:

3. Capturing your audience’s attention.

You can tell any group of people anything, as long as you capture their attention and keep them intrigued.

Children, for example can be a challenge in this respect; however, as any good teacher knows, if you want to deliver a message your group, you first need their attention.  And, in order to get their attention, you need to know the group.

What is going to gain and maintain their attention?

Toddlers.  The most challenging for attention getting.  Think of trying to gather up a box of bouncy balls after you’ve dumped on the floor.  That’s toddlers.  So, once you’ve gathered up their attention, you do not want to lose it. You need to be more interesting than the next thing, or you’ve dropped that box of bouncy balls and your group has bounced on.

School age children and online storytelling are not different.  Once you coax their attention from the  barrage of other social media, you have to maintain their attention or they’ve already clicked away.

Storytelling with school agers can be done using the three important things.

  • Know your story and your message.
  • Know who you are telling the story to.
  • Capture and maintain their attention.
    • Get them to engage.

Storyteller.  Know your story so you can say it and they can read it in 30 seconds or less.  Use photo or video.  Both are attention grabbers.  Video an attention maintainer.

Know who you are talking to:  School age children.  Generation Z.  Raised on 30 second sound bites.  If they don’t have it in 30 seconds, they’ve moved on . . .

Lead with the main message.  Include facts throughout. Tell them what to do at the end.

Put the story where they’ll see it.  The most interesting, aka frightening thing I recently saw was an army recruiting ads pop up on an online first shooter gaming site for teens.  Clever.  Very clever.

Capture and maintain your audience’s attention.  Always ask yourself, what is the best way to keep my audience engaged?

  1. Please comment on the following . . .
  2. If you like this article click . . .
  3. Poll.  Choose.            The hero should marry the heroine because . . . The hero should run for the closest exit because . . .

Which of these do you think will get the most audience  interaction?

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