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3 Simple Rules To Boost Your Storytelling and Your Life

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How To Learn Storytelling, Use It in Your Everyday Life, and Make Friends

You are at the party you have wanted to attend for a long time. Everyone that matters is there. And you wish to have something interesting to say to make friends instead of sitting alone on the sofa.

You have been constantly thinking about this moment for the past few weeks. But those funny dialogues you build in your head don’t work.

Films and TV series have influenced you too much. But dialogues like that don’t take place in reality. So, as you realize you have nothing to sayyou keep shutting up. And it’s becoming to feel awkward.

The 3 Outcomes of Social Pressure

Eventually, the pressure will become unbearable. And you will try to come up with something to say during the evening. But your outcomes are limited to three situations:

  1. Nobody listens to you because they already put you in the uninteresting people category.
  2. You will say something strange that nobody cares about. Therefore, you will become weird.
  3. Or, thanks to good luck, you will say something fun or exciting. But then, everybody will focus on you. So you will need a lot of self-confidence, or you will mess up.

Of course, you want to target the latter option at least. But how can you know what to say in advance? And how can you resist the pressure after you get all the attention?

Storytelling is the answer.

The Power of Storytellers

I have always envied people at the center of attention because of their talking skills.

I wanted to be like them. I wished to make friends as they did. But everything I found interesting wasn’t popular. Or, at least, that’s what I thought. And, worse than that, I couldn’t make it engaging.

In high school, I couldn’t find a way to make many friends. My schoolmates didn’t invite me to parties to parties. And I wasn’t a great communicator.

But with time, I realized my envy was useless. And instead of hating people who were better storytellers, I should have studied their craft.

Those people had better lives than mine because their stories were more interesting. Their ideas were more worth sharing. Or, at least, that’s what I thought. But then, I realized they were just better at telling stories. And that changed everything because I loved telling stories.

So, I started to research and learn storytelling. I knew it was the best networking method in the world. And I wanted it.

What is Storytelling?

Storytelling is the ability of individuals to evoke emotions and create connections through their words. Or, this is the definition I gave it.

As you can see, it is a powerful concept. And people are often afraid of power because it seems dangerous and challenging.

But storytelling is safe and learnable. And you can use it to transform your vision into inevitable consequences.

Great stories can conquer people’s hearts. And, if you learn how to tell them, you can alter their beliefs and emotions.

But how can you do it?

3 Simple Rules to Learn Storytelling

Alright, storytelling is powerful and everything. You got that. But without practical advice, you will remain the uninteresting guy on the sofa. I know because I was one, and it wasn’t pretty.

So, how can you learn it?

Before anything else, let’s clarify one point — you won’t become the group’s bard overnight.

You won’t wake up tomorrow and make new friends. Nor will you speak to anybody as if you were a natural after reading this newsletter. But with time and practice, you will improve.

From my experience, I made a list of three rules that could help you:

  • Make a list of interesting stories that happened to you.
  • Practice storytelling skills every day with everyone.
  • Keep track of what worked and what didn’t.

Let’s dive deep into each one now.

1 — List your stories.

Everyone has to begin from some point to make his life sound interesting. And you will start with a list of stories that might become interesting.

Good storytellers don’t have a mental list of good stories to tell. They remember and emphasize them on the go. But you have to start from somewhere to train yourself and improve.

So, list a few stories that happened to you in your recent life. Those stories will become your business card.

  • Make a mix of funny, sad, and strange stories. Try to find one for each situation.
  • Think about which type of audience will be more receptive to each story. You may change it in the future, but you need a starting point.
  • Write the emotions you would like to convey with your story.
  • Then, write the story and read it out loud many times. Make it yours. And if it doesn’t fit your character, change it slightly without overturning its meaning.
  • Repeat the story in front of the mirror. Focus on your emotions and body language (more about this in the last issue).

2 — Practice storytelling.

Once you become confident enough in your stories, it’s time to test them.

Understanding when to tell a story will be harsh in the beginning. You won’t know how to get attention without being rude. You will overcomplicate things. And you may never get the courage to speak.

So, for your safety, start with your closest friends.

Wait for a moment of silence in the interaction, and start with a random:

Did I ever tell you about that time I…

It’s an easy success. Trust me.

Exit the comfort zone.

However, you can’t always train with your friends. They are the comfort zone. And you won’t learn with them because they will never give you proper feedback. So, you will have to get it from people who don’t care about your feelings.

  • Study your public and target specific people who could engage with your stories.
  • Then, train to tell your stories every time you get the chance. You can experiment with linking to others’ stories or waiting for silence.
  • As you get the attention, remain in control. A bad story is the worst thing that could happen. And nobody will bury you alive if you fail.
  • Learn to make climatic pauses in your stories and interact with people. You are not on a podcast. So, give people time to understand what the story is about.
  • Also, people will want to ask questions. So give them all they want. Their attention is yours now. And you have to feed it. It means you are doing great.

Once you improve, you can tell stories to people you just met. You won’t have to fight for their interest because you will have the appeal of the new. But you must also learn to read their emotions and likes better.

3 — Update your stories.

Sometimes, your stories will work. Other times, they won’t. But that doesn’t mean they are bad stories.

Every story has its appeal to the correct group of people. And what works in a situation might fail in others. So, you must learn to read your audience and use your story only if it fits the context. That’s the trickiest part.

  • Always search for an adventure in your everyday life. Even a lone walk could become worth sharing if you become good enough.
  • Update your stories and create soft variations based on the feedback you get from the audience.
  • And never abandon any tale. Soon, what you say will become who you are. You have the powerful privilege of building and rebuilding your character. But your first stories will always define who you are and will always be.

Final Thoughts

Make a list of the stories you would like to tell people. Practice them in front of the mirror and with your closest friends. Then, share your stories with the world and improve them.

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Original Publication: 3 Simple Rules To Boost Your Storytelling and Your Life