How To Vlog and Be a Better Storyteller


Story story, story, Story: Storytelling is super important to be able to create videos that are engaging so that someone wants to continue watching. Our attention is divided up between all of these different social media accounts and everything else that’s going on in the world.

So you really don’t have a whole lot of time to be able to grab someone’s attention and keep them engaged with your content for a long period of time.

Now storytelling will help you actually keep the viewer engaged and keep them watching And in this video I’m gon na give you five ways that you can actually improve your storytelling instead of just giving you a breakdown of what story is and structure of story.

These techniques will actually help you become a better storyteller so that when you approach a situation, you’re gon na know.

Okay, this is what I need to do to be able to tell the story and create an engaging video.

Now, before we get into number one, I just wan na mention that this is part of a series that I’m gon na do all around storytelling.

I’m gon na break down different aspects around storytelling.

So if you’re part of the 86 of you that aren’t subscribed to the channel make sure you hit that subscribe button and turn on the bell notifications so that you don’t miss when I release the next video in this series.

So number one is to actually tell more stories Now this may seem obvious, but to become a good storyteller.

You have to tell more stories – And I mean just in everything that you’re doing. So if you’re talking to your friends or your family, about a hike that you did last week, put it in the context of a story and actually apply all the rules of storytelling to be able to make it engaging and more interesting.

So let me give you a quick example from a hike Here:’s, what you shouldn’t do So last week I did this awesome hike with my buddy.

We went up to the top of this mountain And it had like the best view ever That’s not really a story.

It’s not that engaging There’s, not a whole lot of context.

There’s nothing really going on when it comes to what you’re.

Talking about, You’re just giving some facts around something cool that happened And you’re not really diving into the story element.

So let’s rephrase that and put it in the context of a story.

So last week I had a super long shoot up in LA It was five days.

I was in a studio from morning until five o’clock at night, And my buddy Jesse was also on the shoot with me.

Every night we’d get done shooting and we’d see this mountain off in the distance. In LA there,’s actually some mountains surrounding the city And in the location that we were at.

We could see the peaks off in the distance And after being in a studio for long days.

Both of us just wanted to get outside and just be in nature.

So, on lunch, during one of the shoot days we were looking at AllTrails and just trying to find some good hikes in the area to go explore And we found a trail that was 10 minutes away from the studio.

And this is perfect, because the time of the year that we were shooting, we only had like an hour of daylight left by the time we were gon na be wrapped.

So we had very limited amount of time that we could get out and go hiking before the sunset.

Now this hike wasn’t a super easy hike.

It was about an 1 800 foot elevation gain over the course of a couple of miles.

So really we were just going straight up this mountain, Both of us weren,’t really prepared.

We just started the trail and started going up And we were pushing ourselves to try and get to the summit because the sun was setting off in the distance. We didn’t really have that much time, But just as the sun was dipping towards the horizon, we made it to the summit And on the top of that mountain was one of the best views that we’ve.

Seen of LA This mountain was positioned in the perfect place to be able to see downtown off in the distance and all the way down the valley, the other direction.

It was an incredible view And we got to see it right at sunset, with all the lights.

Turning on in the city, So the next day when were on set, we jumped on AllTrails and we found a different hike And every day that I was in LA we hiked a different trail to catch sunset.

From this amazing viewpoint Now there was definitely a lot more that went into the second story.

Example here, but it’s more of an engaging story And that’s what you wan na, create So to be a better storyteller.

You just need to be telling more stories like this When you have an experience where you’re doing something that’s really cool, and you wan na tell your friends or your family try to put it in the context of a story and see how They respond And see how you can tweak that story to tell someone else And see if you can make it more engaging with the way that you tell it Number two is build a structure and outline your stories And it’s easy to craft once you Just know what beats you need to hit So number one is just giving some history and setup.

So when you’re going to tell a story, you wan na give some context.

So the viewer is with you in this moment You wan na put them in the scene.

You want them to feel like they know what’s going on, Because if you don’t give any context you don’t give any history or set up to the story that you’re gon na. Tell then someone’s not gon na? Be as engaged because they don’t really know what’s going on.

So the big key here is you wan na set the scene, And this could be as simple as just giving a quick context of what’s going on or it could be something longer where somebody needs a history and they need to know a bunch of Different bits of information to be able to follow along on the journey Now.

The second thing you need to establish is the challenge.

So what’s your goal, and what are you up against to be able to reach that goal? That’s an easy way to think about it.

So, with my little hiking example, we wanted to get to the summit of this mountain, but we were up against time because the sun was gon na set within an hour.

So time is a great way to set a challenge.

If you only have so much time to do something.

That is a challenge.

You only have this amount of time to finish something, And you’ll, see this time and time again in YouTube.

Videos Challenges are great when it’s a 24 hour challenge or a 48 hour challenge. There’s so much story built into that structure, because you have to try and finish what you’re doing by the end of the time period And your audience is gon na want to know Well.

Are you gon na be able to finish it in that time period? It piques the curiosity of somebody who’s watching your video and they wan na see if you actually fall through or make it to your goal.

Recently I did a video where I was overlanding with my buddy on the Pony Express And one of the things that I was up against was I only had three days to do this trip And instead of just showing you the trip I set up this time Crunch and it became a challenge that was a through line for the entire video.

Every time we ran into a roadblock of some kind, it would put us back and we would get further away from our goal, which we only had so much time to achieve.

The key thing here is you wan na set a challenge, something that you’re up against that’s gon na make it harder to be able to reach your goal.


Number three is complications, So what are different beats that happen along your journey that push you back away from your goal.

So this is just the little story beats throughout the video that push you further away or bring you closer.

So, as you’re telling a story, you wan na have things pop up that will pull you away from actually achieving what you’re going out there to get.

So, as the journey of your story goes through, your video, you wan na show challenges. You wan na show things that are pushing you away from your goal And that’s different complications.

Now these can be things that you could set up when you’re crafting a story or outlining it, but they’re also things that naturally will happen And that’s the beauty of vlogging or creating YouTube videos or adventure films whatever it is that You create is that when you actually go through the process, very rarely does everything happen as planned And when you’re telling a story, you’ll start noticing that these different complications will happen and you’ll, spend a little bit of time, actually filming Them so that they can become elements within your story.

Number four: when it comes to structure, is the payoff, Did you achieve your goal? Did you not Or is it kind of just somewhere in the middle? You wan na have a resolution to your story and you wan na know what that element is because you set that up at the beginning.

So stories are very structured in that you set everything up in the beginning.

You go through this journey and then you either achieve your goal or you don’t And then the fifth part of the structure is: how did this change you? Now, when you’re watching a film or you’re reading a book, there’s usually a big, profound change that happens with the main character When you’re, creating YouTube videos or you’re vlogging, there’s not gon na, be these Massive changes once in a while, maybe But you still wan na look for some sort of change After you went on this journey and you reached your goal or you didn’t reach your goal.

How did it make you feel? Because your audience is on this journey with you and they wan na see how this journey affected you at the end of it or your main character.

Now I know this seems like a lot to think about just for a simple vlog or a YouTube video, but when you watch the big creators on the platform, you’ll see the story structure, time and time again, So let’s just break down.

One of MrBeast’s, videos, real quick, and you can see how he integrates the story structure into everything that he does And there’s a reason that his videos have a ton of engagement and people wan na follow along.

So he did a video titled.

I Got Hunted By A Real Bounty Hunter, So in this video he starts right at the beginning with the setup so that you know what’s about to happen. This is a professional bounty hunter And if he successfully hunts me down, he gets 100 000.

He has until midnight to steal this backpack from me, And all I gave them was a knife.

This is going to be craziest chase.

Ever I have a helicopter lined up A dozen cars.

I have everything He is not hunting me down Immediately.

He tells you the goal of the video and he tells you the challenge, And this is something with creating YouTube videos.

Is you have to make these story beats happen much faster to get someone into your story so that they actually wan na be engaged.

Mrbeast is a master of this because he does it so quick Within the first 30 seconds of a MrBeast video he’s, gon na give you all the setup, the context and the challenge, And he does this in such a way where you’re up To speed – and you’re ready to go on this journey with him So right at the beginning, he gives you exactly what’s gon na happen in this video.

There’s a bounty hunter, He’s chasing him And he has all these different obstacles set up to try and escape this bounty hunter.

Now this hero’s journey actually focuses more on the bounty hunter Because you wan na see Mr Beast get caught, and you want this bounty hunter to win 100 000. So the complications throughout this video are the different obstacles that MrBeast has set up to.

Try and trick the bounty hunter from actually capturing MrBeast And there’s a ton of them in this video And you wan na see whether MrBeast is going to escape or if this bounty hunter is going to catch him.

Now the payoff at the end of the video, the climax the ending scene, is that the bounty hunter does capture him And what is the change Well watch this clip.

I got a young child at home And this money sets him up.

This is his college fund.

This changes my life.

Thank you so much And MrBeast included this clip, because this was the change that happened when the bounty hunter was able to capture MrBeast, So go watch any of MrBeast’s, video and think about story structure.

When you’re watching them.

You’ll see these different beats happen in most of his content.

Go to another channel. Like Yes, Theory, you’ll see the same structure happen again Story structure is super important to be able to keep your viewer engaged and keep them on the journey with you Number three to become a better storyteller is consume more stories and less tutorials.

Now, understanding how your camera works, learning, how to shoot cinematic B roll.

All of these things are great and their aspects around creating interesting videos to watch.

But really story is more important.

So if you spend all your time consuming tutorials and how to videos and no time consuming story, then you’re not really gon na be seeing story in action.

One of the keys to becoming a better storyteller is to watch more stories, consume more stories and see how the structure actually works for that video or that book or that podcast wherever you,’re engaging with the story.

Stories can come in all forms, So you wan na consume more of that kind of content, and you wan na be more observant.

You don’t wan na just sit there and be entertained by it.

You actually wan na think through all the elements that we’ve been talking about in this video and how they apply to that specific story that you’re watching – And this brings me into step four to be a better storyteller And that is actually go Through the process of writing down structure for the stories that you are consuming, So take the five steps that I gave you in step two and actually apply it to the stories that you’re watching or reading and write down these different beats.

Now, in the description I’ll include a PDF that you can download that just gives you these story beats and you could just fill out what each of them is when you’re, actually watching a video And start doing this. More often, When you’re watching a video enjoy it watch the video experience it, but then take a step back and look over the sheet and say: Okay, what was the challenge? What was the setup? How did this creator get me into the story and make me wan na keep watching You also wan na look for when stories don’t do this and if they actually fall short.

So if you’re watching a video and there is no structure to it, are you engaged with that story? Do you wan na keep watching it And if you are still interested in watching that video, why Is it just because you enjoy the content Or is there something else going on that’s? Keeping you engaged Most of the time you’ll, find that the stories that keep you the most engaged and the ones that wan na keep you watching longer to the end of a video are ones that have story baked into them And the more that you Could see this and the more that you can pick out these different elements, the easier it’s gon na, be to start crafting your own stories in your videos Now tip five for being a better storyteller is actually become a visual storyteller.

So if you’re creating vlogs or you’re, creating videos here on YouTube, it’s a visual medium.

We’re creating videos.

We’re not just telling stories, So you wan na start applying these different elements that we’ve been talking about.

Setup challenges, complications, resolution and pay off, And you wan na start thinking.

How can I tell this using visuals Now in vlogs a lot of times we like to just talk to the camera, but a lot of times it’s better, to actually show what’s happening, rather than just telling An exercise that I do is try To just tell visual stories And yeah you,’re, not gon na, have the same complications and challenges, and things like that that you might have with a bigger vlog.

But if you’re just doing quick visual stories, you wan na set up the scene.

You wan na take someone on the journey and then you wan na to have some sort of payoff.

So, for example, I’ll go to the park with my family, But I’ll try to tell the story just with some quick visuals, So I’ll set up what’s happening. I’ll take the viewer on the journey And then try to show some sort of payoff or ending, And so like this quick little video is my wife taking my daughter to the park and just showing how excited my daughter gets when she likes to go On the swing, And instead of just filming one shot family style with your iPhone, actually take your camera and try to tell it visually So try to capture different things that are happening within that moment.

Try to use wide shots, closeups mediums Become a storyteller with the way that you shoot And try to take someone on a journey from the beginning to the end, To become a good storyteller.

It just takes continual practice.

It’s, something that is going to be evolving for you and you,’re gon na find different strategies or techniques that work better for the content that you,’re producing, So don’t get down on yourself.

If your story’s not super exciting, Take every opportunity to try and tell more stories and try to infuse this kind of structure into the videos that you’re, creating.

If you’re just someone who’s, shooting vlogs of your day, try to set up a goal for that: Try to set up some challenges to be able to get you to that goal and try to set up complications.

So, instead of just turning on the camera and just shooting whatever happens, think through what is the goal, What is the objective And what are some things that are gon na stand in your way to be able to achieve that goal, And even if it’s Quick and you just do some notes in your notepad, putting more emphasis in creating the structure is gon na help.

You make better videos that are more engaging and more people are gon na wan na watch them Now.

Next, I highly suggest you check out this video right here.

It goes through storytelling structure, but also shooting editing and how it all comes together in an edit to tell a story, while you’re vlogging, All right guys. I’ll see you over there.


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