Storyteller or Storytelling?

Nir Zavaro
4 min readJul 28, 2021

“Are you a storyteller? Oh, how I love storytelling, especially when there’s a good story to tell. I was at a lecture the other day about tips for good storytelling.”

Heard this much during the last few months?

We need buzzwords. We love buzzwords and what could be better than ‘storytelling’?

When talking about storytelling, some might feel a little nauseous since it’s being used for everything now. It’s like the new ‘strategy’. just drop it anywhere in a meeting and you are good to go.

Come to think of it, how can you avoid using it all the time?

We are all storytellers. Some stories are great and some suck but others are really epic. We all know someone who seems like the best storyteller ever, who makes a night out, well… legendary. I own several bars in Tel-Aviv and at each of these locations it’s always been easy to spot the storyteller at every table. They aren’t necessarily the loudest or most fun person in the group, but rather the one people listen to, the one who could take the whole party on a journey just by using words.

Storytelling is about creating a world you can imagine.

Movies, novels, comics and a good myth all tell great stories that can surpass time and place. They can evolve and become better over time — some might even be timeless. During the Middle Ages they had the troubadours telling stories and singing hymns of heroism and bravery.

True storytellers are born a certain way. They develop their craft by doing it over and over, looking at their audience, learning a certain body language and sculpting the presentation it until it works. Can anyone be a storyteller? Well, if you didn’t know it already, you are a storyteller.

When you come home and tell your spouse about your day, when you talk to your colleagues at work about the new restaurant you tried last night, or when you pitch your team a new idea during a meeting, you are practicing this fundamental skill. We are all storytellers. Good or bad, well, that’s another story.

During the last few months, I started to notice that storytelling is being used more often as an empty buzzword, and I started to apologize when using it during sales meetings.

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Nir Zavaro

Chief of Happiness. Owner @Streetwise. 3Xauthor, F*ck the Slides book is out for pre-orders, follow my newsletter for storytelling, brand , and marketing tips.