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6 Ways Stories Make Your Podcast Powerful

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Stories make your podcast powerful The art of storytelling can be powerful. A story can pass life lessons from one generation to another. Tales can help people remember information. Stories bring words to life.

There have been thousands of great storytellers throughout time. You don’t need to be Chaucer or one of the Brothers Grimm to use stories to make your content come alive. Use stories wherever possible, and your information will become engaging and entertaining. It will also be memorable.

Here are six ways stories help the information in your podcast become powerful, engaging content:

A Land Far, Far Away

Stories help your listener escape his everyday life. A tale that is told well will transport your listener to another place and time through their imagination. You help them forget their problems.

When you tell stories in your podcast, you give your listener hope. Tales of success help your listener see what is possible. Tragic stories make him thankful for what he has. Stories that simply make your listener think help her better understand something.

Stories that contain wonderful, vivid words create fantastic pictures in the mind of your listener. When your listeners are intently focused on your story, they forgets they are listening to a podcast. They are so engrossed by your story, everything around them disappears. Your content becomes their sole focus.

Hey, I Know You

People trust people they know. If you’re selling a product or service, people buy from people they trust. If you hope to make that sale, you need to create strong, meaningful relationships with your audience. Stories will help you develop those powerful relationships.

When you tell stories about yourself and your experiences, you reveal things about yourself. Revelation is a natural part of storytelling. Self-revelation allows your listener to get to know you. Your listener spends time with you every week as you tell him more and more about yourself. Then, even if you have never met him, your listener feels like he has known you for years. You’re building a relationship without ever meeting. Stories of self-revelation help those friendships develop.

Humanity

Stories can be compelling, humorous, tragic. A great narrative will make your audience marvel, laugh, or better understand something. These strong feelings make you human.

When you evoke emotions in your audience, your listeners feels like you are just like them. Your stories reveal real-life experiences. You are telling your audience that you’ve had similar things happen in your life. They can relate.

I Remember That

The Grimm Fairy Tales are so memorable, because they are lessons disguised as wonderful stories. Over 200 lessons were included in the books from the Brothers Grimm. Cinderella, Rapunzel, and Hansel and Gretel are all stories that are remembered well nearly 200 years after they were written. Stories link words to pictures in order to make the words memorable.

Great stories will make your information memorable as well. Use the tale of your latest saga to make your point. It will help your listener remember your content.

Live Vicariously

Your listeners can live vicariously through you when you tell them a great story. If you tell you listeners how you made a fortune with your information, they get to experience your joy almost as if they made the fortune right along with you. Your words help create the imagery in their minds.

Help people dream. Create fantastic stories that people can see in their own theater of the mind. Paint great pictures with your words. Your listeners will see your story in their heads.

Stories allow your listeners to feel they joy without experiencing the risk. Your audience can walk through your hardships and feel the elation as you survive without actually living the pain. Delightful stories entertain listeners, because they can experience so much in a short period of time through you.

Take a Car Ride

Your podcast is 30 minutes long (or maybe even longer). That’s quite a bit of time to spend with someone. Will your listener want to spend 30 minutes in a car with you each week? When you record a podcast, you are asking them to do just that.

Your listener will spend meaningful, personal time with you each week. You better do all you can to create a strong relationship with your audience. Get listeners to like you.

When you reveal things about yourself through your stories, people will decide if they like you or not. Be real. Don’t force your story or change the details simply to make people like you. Tell the truth. If you bend the truth this time, you may forget next time. The truth will always come out. When it does, your relationship will be tarnished for good.

Reveal the truth. People will see you as a real human being. They will get to like you for who you are, flaws and all. The friendship will develop. Next thing you know, you’ll be taking a 30-minute car ride with them every week. Stories can make that happen.

Stories are powerful tools. They help your audience escape their problems. Anecdotes help your listener get to know you. That’s where relationships begin. Your tales will show you are human. You are a real person with real flaws, just like your listener. Stories will make your information memorable, by drawing pictures in the mind of your listener. Your audience can live vicariously through you when you tell them about your experiences. When you create that friendship, your listener will be willing to take that 30-minute car ride with you every week.

Begin creating great stories today, and make your podcast powerful.

Is an Army Blog Any Different? (Sponsored Post)

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Disclosure: The Army sponsored the Military Track at NMX 2013, and this post is part of their sponsorship package. We think what Captain He has to say about blogging while in the military is not only interesting, but can help give you a new perspective on your own blog, whether you’re in the military or not. -Editor

Captain He at NMX

I am in the Army, and I write a blog. To many people I have talked to, this means I write a blog about the Army. Following this logic, this means that I write a blog featuring pictures of soldiers in sandstorms in remote areas of Afghanistan with accompanying stories of intense missions to villages and the good work we are doing there, in contrast to the big media stories of the quicksand situation in the Middle East. When I say no, I’m not in the Infantry, they then think maybe I write one of those military wife blogs, full of tips of what to put in a care package to send to your husband overseas and what to wear to his coming home ceremony. Still not true; I may be an Army wife, but in a dual-military relationship that leaves both of us with our fair share of homecomings and goodbyes.

I don’t try to write an Army blog. I write a blog that just happens to occur in the context of me being in the Army. I do not write about Middle Eastern policy, because I am not a Middle Eastern policy wonk. I do write about the Army’s Cultural Support Teams and what a great idea they are, because I am a female and I am in the Army. I don’t write about secret missions in Afghanistan, because 1) that’s probably violating security, and 2) as a signal officer, I plan networks and make sure those Infantry guys have internet.

Old vs. New

The idea of old-style military blogging, or “milblogging,” was covered at the Milblog conference in DC last year.  A lot of the original milbloggers started to blog about the “real” story on the ground. When blogging became a more legitimate news source, and journalists at big papers started blogging in addition to filing their real news stories, the role of bloggers as story tellers started to diminish, and they became another news source in themselves.

I don’t think the original idea of the blog, telling someone’s story, is any different though. Maybe blogs are faster, shorter, more reactionary and less analytical, than a real news story, but it still tells a story. Today’s stories among milbloggers are a little different, but no less important.

My Idea of “New”

I don’t try to write news stories, I just try to tell the real Army story. Soldiers are not deployed every single day of their Army careers; they do spend time at home. In the almost four years that I’ve been in the Army, I’ve only been deployed to Iraq for about five months of that. The rest has been here in Georgia, training and planning and watching other units deploy.

Health and Fashion

Maybe my blog would better fit under the health or fashion categories of blogging. They do seem to be the top two topics for blogs right now.

Think about it, I work out every day with my unit. We run, we do calisthenics, I like to swim and bike and do triathlons and races on my weekends. Of course I write about it. I write about injuries I get, and how the Army tries to deal with that. I write about how stupid my hot pink shoes look with the Army PT uniforms that don’t even fit me.

That’s another thing I like to write about. While I watch my friends post their instagram #OOTD, I wear the same thing every single day. Want me to post that? I can do a cute face with minimal, natural looking makeup, picked specifically for its high-SPF content and the waterproofness/sweatproofness of the mascara, and show off my worn-in combat boots and small-short men’s uniform.

Or, on special occasions, I get to wear my dress blue uniform. Did you know that the first women’s uniforms, for Army nurses pre-WWII, were made on a men’s mannequin, and NO ONE NOTICED for almost 20 years? That’s how much the Army cared about providing their females with high quality uniforms. Some new prototypes of female-specific uniforms are being field-tested, not to mention female specific body armor (after only ten years of sending women to active combat zones), so maybe some changes will be coming eventually.

Just Telling Stories

So, there you have it. I blog to write about life and what I do, just to get my story out there. Even if I think my life is boring sometimes, it’s still different from anyone else’s in the world. Whenever I’m stuck, here are my go-to prompters that make me write:

What did I do different today? Maybe I did the same thing I do every day: went for a run, made some coffee, checked my email, made some slide presentations, answered some phone calls. What made it different, or special, or particularly awful?

What major events do I have to look forward to? In the Army, there is always something coming up: another deployment, a short trip for training somewhere, the possibility of a new assignment, or even just the chance to take leave following a grueling two week training exercise.

What inspires me? Sometimes getting up early to run in the middle of winter is hard, but I don’t have the option of staying in bed. What inspired me today to smile and push on? It might be thinking of my friends who can’t run anymore, or recently meeting someone who just said, “thank you for your service.” Sometimes it’s thinking about how lucky I am to have this opportunity, and that I don’t want to let down all the generations of Soldiers before me who gave it all. And sometimes it is knowing that Thursday is donut day, so I better get up and run.

Nothing seems too small to be a part of my story. Maybe it isn’t big news, or a big story, but it’s all mine, and I’m going to keep writing.

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