What is it about stories that are so intriguing? How does the ability to tell stories well contribute to the likability or success of an individual? How can you become a better story teller? These are questions that I will be addressing in this series on storytelling. Here is the first post on creating greatness through storytelling
I asked Sam Yount, expert storyteller and CFO of Personal Capital to weigh in on telling good stories.
Sam’s advice with Derek’s thoughts:
Practice–You can tell the same story more. All the good ones are told a lot. Any good stand up comedian will go to small clubs and open mic nights to test out new material. You must do the same thing with delivery, content, pacing, etc.
More detail is good. When people accept the details you are adding to a story, they get lost in your tale. Details that have to do with a common feelings or easily relatable situations will allow your audience to place themselves in your shoes.
Read your audience. IF they are into your story, embellish, if not, shorten it up. A good story teller can make a short experience into an hour long story. Having a collection of good asides to sprinkle in can help extend your tale.
Lots of experiences make good stories–test them out. Just like you can make anything in your life more awesome with testing, test the responses to your stories. Start with the basic narration of an experience and change one variable at a time: vocal tonality, order of introduction of the characters, how you use gestures, etc.
In most cases the best stories are things you you did or were involved in–it’s harder to tell a great story about someone else. For your own experiences, random stuff can make great stories, if it’s about someone else, it needs to be monumental.