How To Be A Better Storyteller

Inspired gabblers can turn even the most uninteresting anecdote into a captivating tale, while less confident talkers can mutilate everything they say. Be you in search of small talk, or a way to impress at an interview, there are techniques that can help you craft more salient stories.

The key to a compelling conversation is to “hook them from the start”, according to freelance writer Kat Boogaard over at The Muse. She suggests one way to do this is to forgo the perfunctory introduction and simply “jump right into the meat and potatoes”:

Not only does this approach give you the opportunity to answer the question right away — without getting caught up in the meaningless details — but it also likely hooked your interviewer. Now, she’s left wondering how it happened, why it happened, and what exactly you did to fix it.

Of course, once you reel them in, you have to keep your audience enticed. Boogaard explains that like any good story, you should have a middle and end to go with your beginning:

Have you ever listened to someone’s story only to be left thinking, “Umm, and…?” That person likely just told a narrative without a clear arc — meaning you were left with no resolution or conclusion, and instead felt as if you wasted minutes of your life listening to a completely pointless tale.

Having the composition trifecta gets you most of the way, though you can do better. According to Boogaard, you should use present tense and keep your story short.

After all, part of being a good communicator is listening, too.

5 Tips for Telling Stories That Are So Interesting Listeners Won’t Be Tempted to Pull Out Their Phones [The Muse]

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