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According to Wikipedia, Storytelling describes the social and cultural activity of sharing stories, sometimes with improvisation, theatrics, or embellishment. Every culture has its own stories or narratives, which are shared as a means of entertainment, education, cultural preservation, or instilling moral values.

Many people think that the art of storytelling is something difficult and complex, reserved only for certain skilled members of society. That couldn’t be farther from the truth. The skills necessary to tell a story can be acquired through practice and with the right toolkit, everyone can become a master storyteller.

Whether you are trying to attract new customers or engage your current ones, quality storytelling is the way to go. This goes beyond words, encompassing photographs and videos – the principles remain the same.

Your customers will share the stories of their experiences during your tours and activities. And, as much as you are a part of creating the tour experience, you should be the one to tell the story as well. It is your story, after all. Here’s how.

1. Know your audience

This first step is very important and determines the length of the story and the language you use. Before you start the story, spend five minutes thinking about who you’re going to target. Who are you talking to? how old are they? What are they worried about? Are they looking for a luxurious experience or a budget-friendly experience? Do you need to stumble upon something more professional, or a kind tone works well? Are you registered on Facebook or on another platform as a blog post? This is a very important aspect to consider for setting the proper tone and for the best effect on the viewer.

2. Make them care

Whether emotional or intellectual, aesthetic methods the audience needs to be considered. This is important in a world where people tend to browse through articles and pass-through content. Why should I be interested in the episode? How is it related to the audience? Does your story cover non-travel topics like sustainability, media freedom, and climate change? Keep this in mind when talking. If it’s not clear to you, it’s not clear to the reader.

Tip: Write it on a post-it note and put it on your desk to remember why this story is important.

3. Set the scene

We experience the world through our senses, so to fully capture the viewer, we have all five senses. Set the scene to provide the viewer with the context of the story. What happened to the episode? Did the air smell? Did you smell the pine cone in the middle of the forest? Or like the sea on the beach? What is the beginning of the adventure? To provide the reader with a more immersive experience by stimulating the senses of the audience and setting the scene.

4. Be creative with chronology

Sometimes you can choose to catapult the reader straight into the midst of all the action, or to the end of the story to catch their attention. It is also one of the easiest ways to arouse curiosity, suspense, and tension in your story. Since your reader does not know what is happening, they will continue reading to solve the missing pieces of the puzzle.

However, keep in mind that people do not want to play Sherlock Holmes on their iPhone, so don’t make your story the new Rubik’s Cube.

5. Know your Punchline

What is the purpose of telling the story? Do not forget that although you are doing this to eventually sell a product or service, it should not feel that way to the reader. The story can be funny, meaningful, emotional, or a mixture of these, or something completely different. Be creative, but don’t forget to always make it relevant and interesting.

6. Engage your audience

Erase the boundary between your reader and your story. Engage them with a question (or two) and put them in the center of the story. This way, you create a first-hand experience of the narrative, igniting the desire for the reader to actually have that experience in real life.

7. Use tension

Ever read a book that was so intense you simply had to read until you finished, completely forgetting about time and space? This is what you are trying to achieve with your story. Be descriptive when telling about the climactic moments in your story.

If you’re telling the story in person, perhaps when sharing your first whitewater rafting experience, be expressive and get excited about the story you’re telling. 

8. End with grand finale

Unless the story is to continue and you are intentionally building up the suspense, there should be closure in the story. Whatever plot you’ve built should be finished and leave no questions hanging in the air.

Add magic to your story by leaving your audience with a sense of awe, the sort of feeling you get when you leave the cinema after a great film. You can do this by leaving them with a “big question” about humanity or something similar to ponder as they make their way back to their hotel.

9. Don’t be limited by words

A picture is worth a thousand words and videos all the more. They can support your written stories and vice-versa. This also means that you can create new words, provided that they make sense and their meaning is well explained to the reader.

Through this, you not only surprise and entertain your readers, but you can also build your brand by using cleverly coined words and phrases, even turning them into unique hashtags to promote your tourism business.

10. Enjoy the process

As much as you enjoy creating the experience, you should also enjoy reliving the experience in your stories. Think about it this way: the adventure you provide can live on forever and can be enjoyed vicariously by everyone who reads or hears it.

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