Storytelling elements: Guide to ace storytelling

Storytelling elements: Guide to ace storytelling
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A good storyteller shares a story and a great storyteller will make it look very easy so that we as an audience think, Well! I think even I can do it. Storytelling is simple, easy and uncomplicated that’s why it can be challenging. Storytelling elements can help you with it.

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When I started my public speaking journey I used to think storytelling was easy. For me back then storytelling was just going on the stage and sharing an experience, an event or an incident. 

Well! that’s storytelling, right?  That’s what they do, right?. Well, this is right to some extent but remember our focus is to share a story that sticks in our audience mind for a very very long time. Our focus is to make a difference and occupy a tiny space in our audience mind or perhaps in their hearts. Now for us to accomplish this we need to follow a structure or some elements in storytelling. So let’s start with the basic one today.

What are the Elements of storytelling?

Basic elements of storytelling: 4 P’s of storytelling

1) People 

Every story will have people in them unless we are living in a Disneyland. Or perhaps we are living in one.

Coming back to the main point, when I say people, in your story try to give more details other than just a name. Try to characterise the character like how the character looks, particular behaviour or thought process etc. It can be anything. Remember storytelling is an art you can add your own creativity. 

Example: 

I was driving and an old lady behind me honked at me. 

I was driving an old lady who looked like Rose from the Titanic movie honked at me.

2) Place

 When you mention a place add some more detail. Describe the surrounding a little bit in detail. Describe how it looks or feels.

One evening when I was driving an old lady who looked like a rose from titanic honked at me.

One evening I was driving my brand new Mercedes Benz. . The sky was gloomy and it looked like it was going to rain. An old lady in her black ford who looked like Rose from the Titanic movie honked at me.

3) Plot

The plot is something that happens in a story. An unexpected interruption, a thought-provoking moment, something which makes the audience wonder or raises a question that will be answered in the story.

One evening I was driving my brand new Mercedes Benz. The sky was gloomy and it looked like it was going to rain. An old lady in her black ford who looked like Rose from the Titanic movie honked at me. After a while, she hit my car.

4) Purpose

What is the point or purpose?

There is a saying, never make a point without telling a story, and never tell a story without making a point. What is the conclusion? What is the purpose of your story? This has to be answered by you. What’s your goal? Do you want to entertain, convey a specific message etc. 

Example:

One evening I was driving my brand new Mercedes Benz. The sky was gloomy and it looked like it was going to rain. An old lady in her black ford who looked like Rose from the Titanic movie honked at me. After a while, she hit my car. I was furious and lost my mind. I immediately pulled over in the middle of the road and went towards her car. She was crying and she said her son met with a serious accident I have to go to see him. I felt bad and she reminded me of my mother and sometimes we should let go of rules. I guess that’s what makes us human


One evening I was driving my brand new Mercedes Benz. I placed a bouquet of flowers on my passenger seat with a special note. The sky was gloomy and it looked like it was going to rain. An old lady in her black ford who looked like a rose from titanic honked at me. At first, I ignored it but after a while when I looked at my rearview mirror I could see her approaching my car at a rapid phase and hit my brand new Mercedes Benz. I was furious and lost my mind. I immediately pulled over in the middle of the road and went towards her car. When I was about to yell at her I could see tears in her eyes and she said: “ I am sorry, I am rushing towards the hospital, I lost my son.”

I didn’t reply anything I just let her go. 

As she rushed towards the hospital, I rushed towards my destination. The graveyard. It’s been a year lost my mother. As I placed the bouquet on the grave and move towards my car. The dent reminded me f the empty broken space in my heart. I could have not let the lady go, file a formal case and then claim my insurance. I could have followed the rule book but sometimes life is way beyond a set of rules and that’s what makes us human.

Refined version

Placing a bouquet of flowers in my brand new Mercedes Benz I was driving towards a special location. The sky was gloomy and it looked like it was going to rain. While I was contemplating something. An old lady in her black ford who looked like Rose from the Titanic movie honked at me. At first, I ignored it but after a while when I looked at my rearview mirror I could see her approaching my car at a rapid speed and hit my brand new Mercedes Benz.  I immediately pulled over in the middle of the road and went towards her car. When I was about to yell at her I could see tears in her eyes, hands shivering  and she cried “ I am sorry, I am rushing towards the hospital, my son is serious.”

I didn’t reply anything to it, I just let her go. 

As she rushed towards the hospital, I rushed towards my destination. The graveyard. It’s been a year I lost my mother. As I placed the bouquet on the grave and move towards my car. The dent reminded me of the empty broken space in my heart. I could have not let the lady go, file a formal case and then claim my insurance. I could have followed the rule book but sometimes life is way beyond a set of rules and that’s what makes us human.


The 4P’s of storytelling is basic elements of storytelling and it will help you to give a direction to your story. Once you are done with this you can work on advance techniques to refine your story, add more emotions and captivating moments. I will be writing about advance techniques shortly.


Step by Step guide to public speaking

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Note: This blog is not a bible for public speaking. These steps or techniques are most widely used by creative speakers. If you have your own process which you follow, do share it with us in our comment section. If you have any queries or thoughts to share, do leave a comment below.

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