HOW TO BE A BETTER STORYTELLER IN CONVERSATION

We all have a story to tell. Whether it be a personal anecdote, something funny that happened to you, or an event from your past - we all have stories. The key is telling the story in such a way that will captivate and interest others. In this article, I’ll teach you how to do just that!

Take a deep breath and relax before you speak

One of the first things you’ll want to do is take a deep breath before speaking. This will help calm your nerves, which are often elevated when it comes time to tell your story. You don’t need any more adrenaline or anxiety than necessary! You want to be relaxed and ready. You don’t need that extra energy when speaking, as it can make you speak too intensely or with a bit of a stutter - neither is helpful!

Speak slowly and use pauses

When you speak slowly, it allows the other person a chance to process what they’re hearing. It also prevents them from feeling overwhelmed or confused by your story. You want them to be able to take in all of your information!

 

Be sure to use pauses periodically during your story - this will give others time to reflect on what you've said and think about what they want to say next.

Keep it short - don't ramble on about insignificant details

Unless you’re telling a story to your friends around the campfire, don’t ramble on about details that are not important. They may be fun anecdotes or interesting parts of your life - but if they aren't building up to an end result or lesson learned, then you needn't share them!

Be mindful of how you tell your story - use humor and emotion

When telling your story, stay upbeat. If you’re too serious or somber when sharing the events of an event in your life, it can make others feel uncomfortable listening to someone who is so serious about what happened to them! Balance out the seriousness with some casual storytelling - which will definitely keep people more engaged.


Remember that stories are meant to entertain others and make them feel emotions. If you can, use humor! If something is funny or comical about the situation that happened to you - then share it with a humorous tone of voice and facial expression. This will help people relate to what you’re saying as well as make them feel more comfortable joining in on the conversation about it!


When you tell a story, engage people. Make them laugh and make them cry - but most importantly get your point across! You want to be able to tell an interesting tale that makes others think about their own lives or the world around them in some way. The more someone can relate to what happened and how it made you feel, the better!

Use descriptive language and vivid imagery

Use language that will activate their senses! How did it smell? What were the sounds like at that moment? Were there any touch sensations involved in what happened? All of these details will help people get a full image and feel for the story you’re telling. The more you paint a picture with your words, the better!

Be sure to make eye contact and look for signs that the other person is listening (nodding their head, smiling)

Make sure your body is facing the person you are conversing with. This will help them feel more engaged in what you have to say, as it shows that they have your undivided attention and interest!

Use gestures and facial expressions as much as possible to emphasize your story

Don’t just tell a story - perform one. You don’t need a lot of elaborate hand movements or exaggerated facial features, but do try incorporating them into your story if you can! This will help you convey the emotion behind it as well as keep people more engaged in listening to your story.

Vary your voice - don't just talk in one tone all the time

Don’t just use your regular speaking voice - have fun with it! You can be more casual or dramatic depending on what kind of story you are sharing. This will help keep people interested in the conversation, as they'll never know how this storytelling adventure is going to end next! It also adds interest, so that if someone is listening intently or zoning out slightly it can change enough to grab them again.


Don’t be afraid of the uncomfortable! If you are telling a story about something that made you upset or sad, but it has an uplifting lesson at the end - don’t hold back sharing your feelings with others. They will want to know what prompted such an emotional reaction in you and why they should find comfort in the events of your tale.

Don't be afraid of silence; when used in the right places it can bring out tension or suspense in a story

There are certain moments in a story where it is okay to let the silence linger.  These moments should be used for emphasis or to instill suspense. The more silence you use, the better! Just don't let it go on too long - a few seconds of silence is perfect but any longer and people will feel uncomfortable again and/or tune out from what you're saying entirely.

Share a story with a moral lesson or convey information

A story doesn’t always have to be about something that happened. If you are trying to convey an important message or lesson, try using a story as the way of communicating it! This will help people remember what you said and they might even take your advice if it comes from someone else’s experience rather than yours.

Conclusion

You’ve learned how to be a better storyteller in conversation. You now know that you should engage people, use descriptive language and vivid imagery, make eye contact with the person you are conversing with, vary your voice when telling stories, not be afraid of uncomfortable topics or silence - all so as to captivate an audience. The more someone can relate to what happened and how it made you feel, the better!