How To Tell Stories That Captures The Attention of Your Audience.

Let’s say you are a reader and you have just finished reading a captivating story. Now consider what makes the story so compelling. Was it the tone? Were the references drawn in the contents relatable?

How do you develop captivating stories that will have the audience clicking on them, reading them, and then coming back for more?

A. Craft a Narrative

It is storytelling that brings your content to life. When you construct a narrative around your story, it helps to build a connection with your audience and provide them with a common structure.

When you create a narrative, you need to keep three things in mind.

1. Setting the scene — the where and when.

In talking to the Public Eye community on Boko Haram, we took to Nigerian roads to hear people talk about the state of security. The setting passed one message to the audience — we are tired of the studio/suit and tie talk talk. How about we listen to everyday Nigerians?

A scene from the vox pop

2. No Problem? No Story! The Why and The What.

There is no story without conflict. It is important that you understand that without an issue to spotlight, there is no story. The conflict is the issue you want to untangle.

3. Resolution: Tying Up Loose Ends

People don’t want to see gloom and doom all the time. People love hearing about people who have been through hell and come out the other side. We adopted this in the “Child Witches” episode of Public Eye — Child Witches.

People care about children. They don’t want to see and hear about children being tortured all the time hence introducing David Etim’s inspiring story to cheer the crowd.

David Etim Otu

B. Make relevant references

Like it or not, people are attracted to stories that strike a sense of familiarity in them. When talking to the Public Eye community about the atrocities in the Niger Delta, our audience was drawn to the lyrics of Timaya’s Dem Mama when used as a reference to the atrocities of the Niger Delta.


Some confessed they never knew the song was highlighting issues in the Niger Delta.

Timaya’s debut album with the smash hit “Dem Mama”

C. Use conversational tone

Every conversation has its own tone from texting your mates, asking for a pay rise, composing a small ad, making a speech, drafting a will, writing up an experiment, praying, rapping, or any other — has its own conventions.

People don’t want to read big grammar all the time, especially on social media. Don’t choke them with big words.

Telling a story can be daunting, you don’t necessarily have to adopt all the tips given in this article at once. Play around with it sparingly soon you will attain perfection.

An independent storytelling agency using strategy, creativity, & data to tell powerful stories that magnify essence, representation & impact.