I remember, quite a few years ago, being told, You sound like you are reading a story when you speak.
I always found it peculiar.
At first I didn’t quite understand how my speech patterns mimicked a novel or any other periodical, for that matter.
I mean, I was merely speaking, after all. How was this different from anyone else’s way of communicating?
And recently I heard it again, You sound like you are reading from a story book. Why thank you, I replied.
This time I understood what others had picked up on. There is something rather magical about being able to tell a good story, and if you do it right, you can captivate your audience.
Ever since I was a child I was fascinated by storytelling.
I couldn’t get enough from the films that I watched, the novels that I dove into, and the fantasy of my own imagination. I ate up stories left and right and created my own using playdoh, shrinky-dinks, and G.I. Joes. There was an occasional Barbie thrown in for gender inclusion.
I took classes in art, literature and theatre. I studied music and classical ballet. I both created masterpieces of all sizes and variety, and also performed on stage. And every so often, I took the position of curious observer. I wanted to learn from the best, after all, and test it out myself.
What I took away from my experiences growing up is that . . . Everyone has a story.
And when we connect to the narrative, when we resonate with a piece of art, a melody or chorus, a character’s arc in a film, or the words on a page… It’s because OUR story, the one that’s most personal, poignant and meaningful to us (in that very NOW moment) is tuned to the same frequency.
Have you ever noticed how your life oddly mirrors a particular character in a film you just watched? Even if it’s a cartoon. #nojudgment
Have you ever been moved by a song, perhaps even if it was instrumental?
What did you see in those moments of reflection?
I bet you saw yourself,
your own story, and the underlying theme of what you were going through at that very point in your own life’s narrative. Your memories may have also been jolted, bringing you back to a place that only YOU can recall in such detail. That’s pretty powerful, isn’t it?!
It’s up to the storytellers — the writers, the musicians, the artists and the performers to create a masterpiece that will touch the hearts and minds of those who will bear witness to their work.
And as the observer, it’s up to us to interpret what it means to ourselves and allow it to impress upon us a feeling of familiarity.
That’s what we all want, after all… to FEEL something.
We want a hug to feel comfort, money to feel safe (albeit it’s an illusion), a touch to feel loved, or an affirmation to feel worthy.
Imagine the power of creating a piece of work that pulls on our innermost needs and desires to feel something important to us. It’s pretty influential, right?!
The most successful brands on the market are all highly aware of how impactful storytelling is. They have nailed the nuances of using sound, color, pacing, character development and powerful story arcs. And they succeed because their message influences us in such a way that we feel something unique to our own life’s story, and we end up acting on our innermost desires.
I guess somewhere deep inside I always knew I wanted to make an impact. And perhaps, you do too.
My advice, learn how to tell a story that people can connect to.
If even just one person feels that special spark, your work is a success. You never know who might be watching and how your work can make a difference.
It’s time to get creating. What story will you tell?
By Tyler Bel