Storytelling

image by Jason Jones 

image by Jason Jones 

Last week in groups we learned techniques for making small talk, and this week we will be mastering the art of story telling. I know from groups that the kids have so many stories in them, but often struggle to tell them in a way that connects rather than alienates the listener by getting bogged down in details and tangents. The good news is that the brain is hardwired to tell and enjoy stories. when we hear a story, we try to relate it to our stored memories. According to Leo Widrich of Lifehacker.com, "That's why metaphors work so well with us. While we are busy searching for a similar experience in our brains, we activate a part called insula, which helps us relate to that same experience of pain, joy, or disgust."

This week we will be learning how to tell interesting stories that connect with our audience and make us more interesting, persuasive, and fun to be around. Here's a sample:

1. Pay attention to your audience. If you are telling a story about Minecraft, you will lose an audience that doesn't know play going into too much detail. You can keep their attention by focusing on the universal what was funny? What did you enjoy most? What scared you, etc.

2. Be mindful of the line between embellishments and lies. If you are telling a true story, a certain amount of license is accepted when it comes to exaggeration but too much strays into lies. If your story is interesting to you, be confident that it is interesting enough to tell truthfully. 

3. Have fun with language. Rather than overdoing it with superlatives (amazing, huge, etc.) Try using interesting synonyms.