Want to be a better storyteller? Start watching TikTok.

Up your storytelling game by following master TikTok storytellers who succinctly tell complete stories in less than three minutes.

Want to be a better storyteller? Start watching TikTok.
Photo by Mike Erskine / Unsplash

I love a good story. Chances are high that you do, too. I firmly believe that we are wired to engage with stories. They captivate, educate, and entertain us in ways that other methods simply cannot. A great tale even stimulates our brains and enhances our emotions.

As a writer, I’m constantly looking for ways to be a better storyteller. Whether I’m writing articles or strategic plans for nonprofits, capturing the readers’ attention through storytelling is vital. Thankfully, we have access to a wealth of information about becoming a better storyteller (cough The Writing Cooperative cough). Though, this isn’t a plug for my publication.

Reading information, tips, and tricks is a great way to learn. However, I firmly believe that the best way to be a better storyteller is to listen to great storytelling. Humans have been verbally passing down stories since the campfires of early civilization. Today, we have access to the most incredible storytelling platform available: TikTok.

I might be late to the game, but I’ve been captivated by storytellers on TikTok for the last few months. There are incredibly talented and funny people who have honed their voice, tone, and style of storytelling. With each story I listen to, I’m not only enthralled with the content, but my brain captures the elements that make a story great.

We all know that stories need tension, conflict, and resolution. It’s one thing to know these things and another to hear them executed well in less than three minutes. Looking for a few great TikTok storytellers that have mastered the elements of great storytelling? Here are a few of my favorites:

  • @elysemyers: Elyse was the first storyteller the brilliant TikTok algorithm served me. She recounted her worst first date, a story now viewed over 20-million times. Since then, she’s shared stories about her life, her childhood, and her awful Uber rides. Elyse excels at building each story to a high point and then dropping the conclusion at the very last second.
  • @gregisms: Greg is all about telling stories from his life and the various characters therein. As an elementary school theater teacher, he has a lot of characters to choose from. Greg has mastered the art of telling stories about seemingly mundane anecdotes by infusing humor, like recounting the things his students say.
  • @damnitmadeline: Keeping with the theme of recounting stories about life’s anecdotes, Maddie shares stories about her life with a high level of self-deprecation. While that humor can often be more harmful than funny, Maddie uses it to highlight her stories and elevate the comedy without being hostile toward herself. Also, like Greg, Maddie often tells stories about getting roasted by children.

If you want to be a better storyteller, I strongly recommend you start listening to stories on TikTok. Develop your tone, voice, and perspective, and then start telling stories. The best way to be a better storyteller is to start telling stories.

Do you have a favorite storyteller? Who are they?

Justin Cox Justin Cox

Justin Cox is a donut-loving, word-writing, nonprofit consultant based in Orlando. He also runs The Writing Cooperative on Medium. Come say hello!