4 Tips for Great Storytelling: For Public Relations and Life

Slash Coleman

In PR News we often write about the importance of storytelling. So, we thought, why not go to a professional storyteller for some tips on crafting a compelling tale. Here, writer/performer Slash Coleman, currently at work on his second PBS storytelling special, offers four tips to maximize your storytelling efforts. 

1) Up Close and Personal: Great stories allow the storyteller to connect with the listener in some way, and that happens best when stories are true and personal.

2) Emotion Is an Involuntary Action: The best stories in the world always have an emotional appeal. They inspire the audience to act, to think, to laugh, to cry or to get angry. This isn’t achieved by telling the audience what or how it should feel. If an audience is moved to feel something, they become more emotionally invested in a story based on that connection.

3) Conflict Is Good: Stories boil down to conflict. We crave that tension and a barrier between the hero and what he/she is seeking. That’s what separates a good story from just an anecdote that may be told at the water cooler.

4) Ready, Set, Action: Great stories don’t need a lengthy setup. Ideally, they should start right at the action. In other words, at the point where the main character is experiencing conflict.

PR News subscribers can read about how PR agency Conover Tuttle Pace and the Breeders' Cup delivered stories around the remarkable horse Zenyatta to drive ticket sales and attendance in the case study: "Unique Storytelling, Crossover Appeal and an Enchanting Equine Angle Help the Breeders' Cup Set Records."