How to Become a Masterful Storyteller
Storytelling is akin to holding the hand of a friend, colleagues or a partner and walking with them until you reach the destination you want to reach. And if in between they left your hand, then you’ve not fully engaged them.
At CNN we tell events for audience to show interest. But now we’re talking about your story. Learn to tell your personal story and engage with people, whether it’s your bio or your CV.
How can I explain my CV in words that are interesting to people?
- Summarize your story in 2 minutes
Tell people who you are in maximum 2 minutes because you want to convince them you are someone important. Underline your top challenges and accomplishments or your childhood experiences.
- Be clear as to why you’re doing it
Is it for my boss, is it an increase in salary, am I trying to impress people? These questions need to be put on paper. Sometimes you have small stickers and maps them on a wall. The time will come when you will need these ideas.
- Brainstorm ideas with someone
Talk to people about these ideas, talk to people and brainstorm your ideas with them. You have to be a good listener. The debate is a two way street. Train yourself to listen and get their ideas. The advice people give is not to attack or humiliate you, but take their advice to find a common ground.
- Put these ideas into practice
This will help you build your story, you need to debate, chat, and do that exercise with people you trust. You can even talk to the mirror. I’ve started my career doing that. Talk to your mobile in video form and watch afterwards. Was it convincing? Was it clear?
- Soundbites. The shorter the sentence the better it will sound
Here’s the importance of time management. Make use of the time you have to talk to people to leave an impression. If you have 2 minutes to introduce yourself, don’t thank people for their time, get straight to it. Test it multiple times on yourself and take it to people for feedback.
- Review the message you’re trying to deliver
Ensure that your message delivers the key image you’d like to portray in a timely and clear manner.
About the author
Caroline Faraj is Dubai Chief Operations Director at CNN having spent over 21 years at CNN. She has uncovered numerous daring stories during her illustrious career and cares deeply about raising women’s rights and voices in the Arab world.