Subscribe to my Telegram Channel,
and get new articles first!
Storytelling school

What is storytelling, or how to tell stories

Author of the article: Tatiana Zhakova
Journalist, linguist, teacher of storytelling with 10 years of experience
In 2015 she created and promoted her project about Nizhny Novgorod,, after which she created a course called "Storytelling: How to Tell Your Story" based on it. Over 4,000 students have taken the course.

A linguist by education, she quickly masters new areas. Now she is actively studying screenwriting and storytelling in movies/serials, and writes about it in her project's blog.
The storytelling method is a highly sought-after trend in blogging, copywriting, and speaking engagements. Experts use the techniques and rules of storytelling technology in education, management, and psychology.

In simple words, it is the art of storytelling. It is not a novel direction at all, as stories evolved a long time ago. But even now, in the 21st century, the word "storytelling" pops up here and there - workshops and courses are organized, checklists are sold.

Let's find out what this method is and why it is still so popular.
By telling stories, Scheherazade saved her life, and Jesus and Mohammed changed humanity's life. Stories about the battles of gods and goddesses and their love for mortals have kept some societies in order as well as other forms of government.

The Storytelling Method

Storytelling is to tell a story. That is, it's the way a story is organized so that it follows a specific plot: it has a plot, a problem statement, an action sequence, a climax, a denouement, and a conclusion. Or you insert some small stories into your big story, presentation, or text. All of these would be storytelling techniques in your work.

Storytelling techniques are stylistic techniques in Russian (and not only) language that help achieve greater imagery and artistry in your text.

The basic unit of storytelling is a longread (long text). Originally it was only a text, but with the advent of convenient platforms for the layout of single-page sites, the concept of Digital Storytelling appeared, and the longread can be considered a site with different multimedia elements.

The light is out, you lie under a warm blanket and snuggle up to your warm, kind mother. And at the same time she reads you a book about how in the kingdom of a third world, a third world... And then, you remember.

Growing up, we learn to get the stories ourselves. Harry Potter books, cartoons about Aladdin and the Lion King, Marvel comics - they are all stories. With their own heroes and their own "tricks."

That is, stories are especially dear to us because they appeal to our childhood, but also because they are the way we are used to consuming information.

About the power of storytelling

The American Institute did a very interesting study. In it, one group of subjects actually lived the experience, and the other group only listened to the story of the experience. It was a very colorful and interesting story.

Their brains worked the same way. Regardless of whether they were in the process of living it or listening to it. You can read the article in full here.

Thus, this effect creates such a strong effect of presence, of empathy. This is why storytelling is so effective.
Another aspect is that after reading or hearing a story, we make a conclusion. You know, that high school "What did the author want to say"? And, oddly enough, the author really did have something to say!

Now imagine that you are that author. And what you want to say is that your reader just needs to do this or that. So, instead of saying it outright, all you have to do is tell a story, the conclusion of which would be for the reader to do this or that action.

Doesn't that open up horizons?
It is this, not just "fashionable stories," that lies at the heart of the storytelling method. It is a kind of subconscious programming tool, very powerful in the right hands and very dangerous in the wrong hands. As the ancient Indians used to say: "He who knows how to tell stories owns the world!

I have prepared for you examples of stories that I used to tell, which, like paper airplanes, flew around my hometown in their time and stuck in the heart of every resident.
In other words, keeping in mind a few principles for creating a story, any fact, any information can be presented in an interesting and not boring way.
(c) Andrey Skvortsov, Director of "Mercator" company

Storytelling techniques

  • Bookishness
    Imagine you're in a book! And lead your own story, filling it with characters, dialogue, places of action.
  • Present tense
    Use the present tense so the reader or listener is fully immersed in your story.
  • Chips
    Add to each character's attributes that are unique to him - so it's much more interesting to read.
  • Conflict
    Every story needs conflict. Let your hero face challenges and solve them successfully.
  • The Hero's Way
    Remember the old children's tales about the adventures of the good guy.
  • Characterization through action
    Don't talk directly about any of your character's characteristics - let him do an action that characterizes him.
The magic of influence is not in what we say, but in how we say it, and in what we represent ourselves. This dependence defies rational analysis and cannot be described by the usual charts and tables. The secret of the influence of oral storytelling rests on people's creativity.

Storytelling school

Once, in 2015, while walking around the city, I wrote many stories about its inhabitants, events, and places. Subsequently, I recruited a team that worked with me on the Nizhny Novgorod portal and filled it with new and new texts.

After a while, this was not enough, and I created my first online course "Storytelling: How to Tell Your Story". At that time it consisted of only 6 sessions, but it led to a chain of new distance courses, personal MCs and other interesting events.

That course went through four revisions and grew to 40 classes. But to this day, it is the most thorough and comprehensive program on storytelling on the Russian Internet.
My name is Tanya. And I am a journalist with 10 years of experience, a teacher with a pedagogical education, a marketer, and a PR manager. I have worked with more than 30 companies (many of which were quite large).

But I think my main feature is the ability to tell stories. It is thanks to this that I manage to keep my readers' attention year after year, presenting them with more and more new products.