Storytelling tips from storytellers

Storytelling Q&A with the best in the Business – LinkedIn Toronto Meetup

I am a big fan of the LinkedIn local meetups and I have attended all seven of them in Toronto and two more in the GTA region. Each meetup has a theme and there would be a lot of specific takeaways on the subject. 
The 7th LinkedIn Local Toronto edition’s theme was “The Power of Stories”

This was the group shot taken at the end of the 5th LinkedIn Toronto meetup 


We had a powerful panel on Storytelling featuring

  • Fabio Marrama – Top 40 Under 40 Award Winner | Marketer | Speaker | LinkedIn® Content Creator & Consultant | Partnership Manager | #StayFab
  • Michaela AlexisMillennial LinkedIn Master, Keynote Speaker, and Author, Espresso-Fuelled Entrepreneur
  • Nasma Ali – Engineer turned Realtor, Mom of 3, Founder of the One Group real estate team | Instagram Storyteller Extraordinaire
  • Bailey Rose King – Video Creator and Model
  • Bobby Umar – 5x TEDx Speaker | Inc Magazine Top 100 Leadership Speaker | Speaker Coach

This was moderated effectively by Fabio Marrama. Let’s go through the practical and actionable advice from the panel on Storytelling.

Practical Storytelling advice from the best Storytellers in the city

Most of the questions were from the moderator Fabio and we had an audience Q&A at the end as well. Condensing the entire panel discussion into pointers below.

Storytelling Tips

1) Favorite books / resources that inspired you w.r.t Storytelling

Four Agreements recommended by Michaela

Alchemist recommended by Nasma

Harry Potter series recommended by Bobby Umar

Diary of a CEO – Podcast recommended by Bailey

Start with Why recommended by Fabio

2) Why is Storytelling important?

Because it is the only way to really connect with people as everyone grew up hearing and learning from stories. 

Stories helps people to retain more information.

“In simple terms, storytelling is covering anything with strawberry jelly so that it looks great and is easier to consume “

Michaela Alexis

3) Does the same story work in all kinds of social media platforms or is there a pattern that you follow in terms of storytelling for every platform?

Keeping it entertaining – Facebook

Keeping it honest and authentic – LinkedIn

Keeping it motivating – Instagram

Whatever be the platform, when storytelling is coupled with a visual representation, it works really well. 

4) How important is documenting the stories?

Documenting the stories helps in re purposing the stories according to the situation. 

It is normal to feel the urge to post a story about something as soon as it happens. But, it would be the disservice to your target audience. They are looking for the emotions behind an experience than just the experience sharing. 

So sit down on a great moment. Think about why it is significant and why it matters. Capture those and share it in the form of a story. 

5) What qualifies as a story that is worth sharing? What if people already know about it?

One of the biggest mistakes made by modern day story tellers is that they assume their audience already know what they are talking about. 

It is important to build context before diving right into the story.

When you share something with your coworkers or friends and if they say they did not know about it until you said it, then there is a high probability that your target audience might not know about it too.

Build an element of suspense before the real stories and it works really well. 

6). How does storytelling work in an industry like Real Estate?

Storytelling in real estate involves showing something interesting and talking honestly about all aspects of a property and not just the rosy stuff. 

People respect honesty and being candid and when that is tied into your storytelling, it will work wonders irrespective of the industry. 

7). What makes Storytelling tick? Is it the actual story or because of the articulation of the Storyteller?

Just like how a photographer can make something ordinary look beautiful in the pictures, a storyteller can churn out great stories from very ordinary situations and experiences. 

There may be two or three unrelated experiences but they might be connected by a common thing or might have happened during the same emotional state. It is up to storyteller to build a cohesive story.

There is no such thing as a boring story, it is just average storytelling

8). What are the absolute essentials of a good story?

Don’t tell them ‘the what’, tell them ‘the so what’. 

Follow the Story Arc formula

Courtesy : Illuminara

Explain the obvious. Never assume everyone in your audience would know that. 

Introduce the situation – explain the conflict – build up to the climax and resolve the conflict.

Any story can be grouped into one or all of the following – educational, informative, inspiring and entertaining. As a storyteller, you can pick the tone according to the story you want to share and the outcome you would like to see. 

9). Everyone is selling something. How do you effectively transition from storytelling mode to pitching mode?

Once you know your audience, you can connect with them with their pain points, show your authority or influence and get them to understand what you have to offer. 

Not every story needs to have a call to action. Stories can serve as touch points. The key is to stay on top of their minds for a particular subject. 

When it comes to call to actions, think of the natural / logical step that the audience have to take after listening / seeing your story.

Always start with them and then talk about yourself towards the end. Knowing your audience and what they are going through will make you a great storyteller. 


If you are interested in reading actionable LinkedIn tips from the modern day influencers, you can read it here.

If you would like to attend the next LinkedIn Local meetup at Toronto on November 22, follow the updates from Bobby Umar

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