Storytelling is a key part of making a YouTube video. It’s not only how you catch a viewer’s interest but how you hold it as well. Your storytelling brings life to your video.
Here’s how to tell a story that keeps your viewers hooked.
Tease your audience with the title, thumbnail, and opening shot.
Think about your video like a book on the shelf of a library. With all those books to choose from, how do you pick? What draws your attention? Is it a catchy title? What about a colorful cover? Do you read the excerpt on the back cover before deciding what to read?
When it comes to telling your video’s story, the first step is grabbing that viewer’s attention. Use your title, thumbnail, and opening shot to your advantage. Tease your viewers enough to entice them without giving away the ending.
Bring it to life with a skit element.
If you’re filming a sit-down video, you can do so much more than just tell your story to the camera. You can include pictures, screenshots, etc. to help illustrate your story, but to really bring it to life, consider including a simple skit.
You don’t have to be an experienced actor to include a skit in your video. Simply act out part of the story, such as someone’s dialogue. You can use costumes and props, too.
For example, in many of his older storytime videos, AmazingPhil acted out parts of his stories in a simple, silly way.
Include an exposition, a climax, and a resolution.
Every successful story has three basic elements. The exposition is the beginning, where you set the stage and give any necessary background information. Then, the action builds towards the climax, the high point of the story. Afterwards, the actions falls into the resolution, where everything is wrapped up.
Make sure your story hits at least these three beats. Before you film, consider making an outline of the beats you want your story to hit. Look over it again as you edit.
Having an outline will help you keep your story on track. Though the tangents may be interesting to you, going off topic may confuse and even frustrate your viewer.
Keep the main reason for sharing your story in mind.
Before you film, ask yourself why you’re sharing this specific story. This reason will drive the tone and pace of your video. For example, if you’re sharing a story to entertain your audience, you might focus on cracking jokes. However, if you’re telling the story as a precautionary tale, then such jokes wouldn’t really have a place.
Model and vlogger Natalia Taylor shares a lot of personal stories about the darker side of the modelling industry. She shares these stories as a way to warn younger viewers and aspiring models about the danger they may encounter.
To keep your viewers hooked, make sure you story has an exposition, a climax, and a resolution. Keep the main reason for telling your story in mind, and have an outline before you begin.
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About the Author
Kristen Harris enjoys listening to a wide range of music, from Taylor Swift to, on occasion, Celtic instrumental. She also spends her time writing, reading, and baking.