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Five Storytelling Tips to Capture (and Keep) Your Audience

September 18, 2012  

Within seconds your killer headline and content have hooked your audience. But how do you reel them in? That is, how can you keep their attention after they start to read your article, watch your video, or listen to your podcast?

Inspired by Andrea Phillips's Fast Company article titled "Five Lessons for Storytellers From the Transmedia World," the following tips can help you engage audiences no matter what type of content you serve up.

Be real. Your content needs to feel alive. "Act like a human being on social media—someone who listens instead of just talking, someone fallible and vulnerable who apologizes for mistakes," says Phillips. "If your character, customer service group, or brand does this, then people will start to care about them as though they were real people."

Thread the needle. Simple is easier to understand, so more people will understand a simple story; but simple might not do justice to your story, yet you'd like to reach a broad audience. That's a real conundrum. "Many creators thread this needle with a tiered [story] structure: the bulk...is aimed at a lighter, more casual audience, but there are also rewards baked in for anyone motivated to engage a little further," Phillips advises.

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