The 5 Common Elements of Good Storytelling

So, what makes a good story? What are the common elements of good storytelling? Here are few commonalities:

1. Simple

Good stories are easy to understand. They’re also told in a language that matches the way the intended audience communicates, so they don’t need to spend time interpreting and then absorbing. Simplicity also aides in memorability, because the overall lesson is easy to grasp in summary.

2. Emotional

Good storytelling requires an emotional component. Most of the memorable ones have humour, pain or joy (sometimes all three). If every story were simply facts stated, one after another, most of us wouldn’t listen or remember any of it.

3. Truthful

Not truth in the scientific sense, where there’s an objective fact stated, but true insofar as the teller believes in what they’re saying and are honest with themselves and their audience about it.

4. Real

Good stories are first-hand experiences the teller actually witnessed. Even if it’s a story that’s passed on generationally, an effective one still has an element of how that story relates directly to the teller, told in the teller’s own words.

5. Valid

Regardless of the audience size, a good story works for any audience. One to one-million. It isn’t concerned with how many people can hear it, just that someone, somewhere is listening to it.

The 5 Common Elements of Good Storytelling | Inc.com.

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