What Can Jeff Foxworthy Teach Authors about Storytelling Techniques and Ideas?
by Ronda Del Boccio
It seems people don't truly believe me when I say there are storytelling ideas everywhere. Comedians and country singers know this well.
Entrepreneurs come to me for help with how to write a book; One of the key elements that belongs in every chapter of a nonfiction book is a story.
The story may come from:
- a customer success story
- a restaurant visit
- a conversation
- a news story
- something overheard
- any life experience
Storytelling ideas are everywhere,
Recently, Kara asked, “How can I find a story for every chapter? I'm not a good storyteller.”
Before addressing the storytelling issue, pause and look at the mindset. as Kara repeats she's not good at something, she demonstrates storytelling techniques used to hold her back.
She probably has a whole narrative around not being a good storyteller and not being able to find good ideas. It becomes a well-worn pathway of the mind.
Looking for inspiration
Kara can find storytelling ideas anywhere in her life. Fiction authors know this well, because any event or person can inspire a story element.
as a fantasy author, I personally have used bits of conversation, people, and real life experiences as fodder for stories.
Why is nonfiction any different? It isn't!
Jeff Foxworthy finds his inspiration in everyday life. He is a master storyteller.
Watch this Jeff Foxworthy video.and see if you can find some inspiration for yourself.
Here are a few of the situations that inspired him for this comedy routine:
- a wedding rehearsal dinner
- lawn ornaments
- visiting relatives
- rednecks (of course!)
3 elements of storytelling
- Content – the “what happened”: Most people stop here and merely repeat “this happened, then that, then the next thing.” This makes for a boring story.
- Context – the “fit” or relevance to the reader/listener: This is why the story matters to your audience.
- Connection – the “why this matters” emotion. The story needs to matter to your audience on an emotional level, whether the story is humorous or serious.