After accepting an invite to ship a chat on efficient storytelling final weekend, an unfamiliar feeling swept over me — the jitters. In a not-so-distant previous, I’d have given the discuss whereas standing at a lectern, capable of see the viewers’s physique language, gauge their response. If there have been murmurs within the room, I hear them. If a challenger narrative lurked in a nook, I’d know. I was in cost.
Minus the lectern, seated in a nook of my dwelling, I knew I’d be simply one other field on everyone’s display screen — one click on away from being muted. How does a speaker discuss storytelling within the midst of a pandemic that has flattened the very hierarchy that might usually set him earlier than his viewers?
A lot pondering later, I lastly logged in and submitted to everybody that storytelling within the post-pandemic world is an much more important life ability. It may assist us learn to attain past the frames that actually now field us in, to share truths that matter in ways in which matter and go away an affect.
There are some individuals who do that so nicely already that it’s unimaginable to disengage with the tales they inform. Take Nandan Nilekani. The co-founder of Infosys who led a crew to create Aadhaar, the world’s largest identification challenge, thinks massive. Whereas there are numerous individuals who do this, there are only a few who can articulate their imaginative and prescient as clearly and but passionately as he can. He’s an instance of what I name the Grand Storyteller.
However you possibly can solely be a Grand Storyteller if in case you have a exceptional story to inform, and a lifetime of experiences wealthy in texture and element. I’d submit that I’ve neither. To aspire to be a storyteller like him would then be silly. What sort of a storyteller can I be? Earlier than making an attempt to reply that, one should take into account what one ought to not be like.
The federal government has many bureaucrats making an attempt to morph into technocrats. They seem routinely on TV and wish to be seen at public gatherings. They converse nicely and costume nicely. However there isn’t a inherent reality to the tales they inform. These are Flashy Storytellers, who consider that substance can trump type. It may’t. That merely isn’t what good storytelling is about.
This level is misplaced on Wannabe Storytellers too, lots of whose voices will be heard within the venture-capital area. Their narratives have it that they’re at work to alter the India story. However dig somewhat and their imaginative and prescient seems to be as shallow as their accents. Theirs are tales missing in substance and perception. And you can not cook dinner up story with out these two substances.
The Flashy and Wannabe storytellers purpose not for affect and engagement however for fleeting glances and impressions. They yearn for the highlight. They assiduously observe hits, follower counts and different self-importance metrics.
Again to the great guys. Along with the Grand Storytellers, in my guide, are the Exact Storytellers and the Genuine Storytellers.
Rahul Matthan, a founding companion on the Bengaluru-based legislation agency Trilegal, is my thought of a Exact Storyteller. His focus is on substance. Every bit in every of his tales all the time falls into place. Every story is compelling, holds reality, and stays with the listener. It’s a positive narrative reflective of deep thought, polished to take away all superfluity. Simply how does Matthan handle to craft such positive narratives? I assumed it needed to do along with his coaching as a lawyer, nevertheless it seems it has additionally to do with an curiosity within the performing arts. His college-era love for theatre has stood him in good stead.
An Genuine Storytelleris Sanjeev Bikhchandani, founding father of Naukri.com and co-founder of Ashoka College. The tales he locations within the public area resonate as a result of he doesn’t draw back from sharing his vulnerabilities or talking of his failures, and this makes his tales wealthy in reality and lived expertise.
I’d appear to be a good distance off from my beliefs of storytelling. The spouse informs me I’m a Dramatic Storyteller, just like the stand-up comedian Kunal Kamra. However the place his tales leap out of the field spectacularly, apparently mine fall flat on their faces. I have to work tougher. In spite of everything, I consider this to be an much more important life ability now, and even my captive viewers is demanding higher materials.