Do you have a story to tell? In this series on technology and communication, I’ve been covering four basic communication activities. So far we have discovered Reporting, Connecting, and Creating; but I saved the best for last: Storytelling.
I previously said that storytelling is the act of distilling the universal out of personal experience, and relating it to others. Why is that important? Note the word universal—now follow the associations: universal, universe, world. A good story literally changes the listener’s world, her apprehension of reality. Once more: universal, pervasive, common. A good story touches on something important that the listeners (and the presenter) hold in common.
People who love a good story (all of us) often have to seek far and wide to satisfy that desire. Whether in books, movies, on stage, on the web, we can be passionate about finding the stories to make us come alive. Now stop and look at another word I’ve used here: passion. How much of the information we receive in this information age actually arouses passion within you? I don’t mean just any strong feeling, but a burning desire both to keep an experience and to share it.
So how has technology affected storytelling over the ages? In my opinion, not very much really. In every communications medium you can find (if you look) tremendous power to rock your world, and an enormous amount of … well, something else. Perhaps the most important thing technology has done for storytelling is to help us in the search for a good story. But remember, even Google doesn’t cover everything! I could easily find a recent blog post at Forbes about the importance of storytelling, but it was quite a bit harder to track down one of my favorite in-person storytellers.
Once again, social and cultural forces dictate the impact of communication far more than technology. So you there, with your blog and your website and your story to tell. Concentrate on the essential, universal appeal of your story as well as how to “get the word out”. Listening to and reading great stories will help you learn to tell yours. Meanwhile, if you are in business, we at Oneupweb can help you find your story and reach others with it.
“Fairy tales are more than true. Not because they tell us that dragons exist. But because they tell us that dragons can be defeated.” – G.K. Chesterton