Becoming a Great Storyteller

By

The guy that can tell a great story… has the room in the palm of his hands. Chase Amante from the Approach sent along this article on becoming a legendary storyteller. Chase works along side Sebastian Drake, who you can listen to tell stories in action on his Master the Vibe audio program. What’s great about Chase’s article is that he includes theory and examples…

Becoming a Legendary Storyteller by Chase Amante

Storytelling… one of the most natural forms of human communicating. Relating the day’s events, sharing our lives with others, letting people know where we’ve been and where we’re going. From short stories about your drive home yesterday or most recent adventure to the cell phone store, to long stories about your travels abroad or something that changed your life…

Most people’s stories are boring most of the time. This is a shame.

Yet sometimes you will meet a captivating, damn amazing storyteller, with fascinating, engaging stories that make you love talking to that person and hearing about his adventures. Even regular events sound like epic struggles and dramatic escapades. People love listening to those people, and want to be those people.

Let’s explore the art of storytelling. If you don’t have much practice telling stories, it’s usually pretty quick to get up and running telling basic stories that are good enough to keep others engaged.

Here’s some rules to make your stories great. Of course, you must choose your content well, becauswe what you say says a lot about you. And be sure that the message of your story communicates good things about you. We’ll cover that in a future newsletter. Today,
let’s be interesting… Here’s how to make your story stories electric.

The rules:

*Emotion! You must FEEL your story, and communicate that enthusiasm for your material. The most boring story in the world sounds exciting when told with solid emotion behind it. Example: “I was waiting in line at a café this afternoon and it was taking for-EVER! The chef looked like he could care less about keeping the line moving… He was serving as fast as a glacier… ”

*Conviction! BELIEVE what you’re saying, and say it with STRENGTH and CERTINARY. Listeners have entered YOUR world.

*Concision! KILL unnecessary rambling. Go short on your stories, and then go heavy on the emotion. Many of the best stories just quickly involve the listener, communicate emotion, deliver the message, and then – BAM – they’re over, and listeners are left wanting more.

*Get listeners INVOLVED! Making the listeners feel involved in the story – Relate your story to another person as an individual, and make sure to ask involvement questions.

(Simple Involvement Example: “I finally got to check out this coffee shop called the Living Room – have you been there?”) Another means of involving listeners is grounding them in the reality of the story. Before you get to the actual meat-and-potatoes of the action, do a brief bit of character development or setting the scene / mood. An example of this is if you are talking about a night you got into a bar fight, go into a little detail about the bar and the “calm before the storm” so to speak. Then, when the fight hits, because everything was so calm the fight seems all the more dramatic.

*FRONT-LOAD Your Emotion! Give the emotion of the story before it begins to draw the listeners in. Examples of opening lines to stories that front-load emotion: “Whoa! Have you ever had a day where it seemed like everything just fell into place?” or, “Oh my God…. Do you know that feeling you get when it you think someone is watching you?”

*Intrigue! Girls go nuts for this one. Drawing coincidences, fate, destiny, or a little bit of alarm and danger into your story will keep listeners – and your future girlfriends – on the edge of their seats.

*Color! Use colorful language to snap listeners to attention. Paint a more vivid picture and convey emotion more explicitly. Compare: “The dog ran and jumped over the fence,” and, “This totally dirty mutt ran and did the biggest jump I’ve ever seen over the fence.” The second one is much more interesting. Don’t be afraid to swear – A little swearing adds flavor and emotion to your stories, and a sense of the risqué.

*PAUSE! PAUSE PAUSE PAUSE! You should NEVER rush your story. The building tension from pauses leave your listeners engaged, and in the end, fulfilled. Speak slowly, pause between EVERY sentence, and pause for emphasis on key points.

*IMPACT! The end of your story must have some impact, some punch, go out with a BANG! One of the key signatures of great storytelling is this PUNCH, and it’s what ensures your story sticks in the minds of listeners and makes them think about you later.

Here’s one of my stories. Try to pick out all the elements as you see them:

“Wow… my goodness… Have you ever gotten into been in serious danger and didn’t even know until after it was over…? My girlfriend and I went to the Dominican Republic back in March… absolutely beautiful there, so natural, pristine… we had the most amazing time.

One of the most fun things we did is take this really small, local sailboat out to this tropical island for a day. It was almost untouched by man… unreal place… then we got to take a damn fast speedboat back to the DR.

On the way back, we stopped at this raised sandbar out in the ocean, they call it a… natural pool I think. The ocean only came up to our waists, and we had drinks out there in the water off the side of the island. What an experience, and then…

…on our fourth day, we took a trip to go snorkeling. I had wanted to do some scuba diving, but they told us the waters were too rough for it. But whatever, despite the strong waters, we headed with a handful of people about thirty minutes out in a speedboat, and when
we got there we all plunged off the side into the water. My girlfriend and I were looking down into the sea at all the colorful fish, taking underwater pictures… we even got to feed the fish bread we brought from the hotel. After ten minutes or so, we looked up and the boat was far away. Surprised me, alarmed even that the boat was moving, so we went to swim closer to the boat. We did and we’re enjoying our swim again, but then I look up and no one from our group is near us.

Another ten minutes pass, I look up again and the boat’s even farther away than before. I pointed it out to my girlfriend, and suddenly we could hear a whistle and saw the captain of the boat waving at us. We both swam back towards the boat again. We were pretty far out and it took a damn while before we made it back, what’s making it worse is the water keeps pushing us away. When we finally reach the boat, the captain told us that we’d gotten off on
the wrong side – we were on the open ocean side and were being swept out to sea. The boat hadn’t been moving… it was anchored, we’d been moving!

Damn… the told us later if I hadn’t noticed the boat further away, we would’ve been gone… ”

[Note from Sebastian: Chase told me this story last time I was in California. I was on the edge of my seat the whole time. There’s this sense of amazing peace but something’s not quite right, danger’s building, and at the end… oh my…]

Start by incorporating one or two elements into stories you’d tell normally. As you get experience incorporating these elements into his stories, you’ll be able to do it without consciously thinking about it and throw your stories together effortlessly – and have them sound really good.

Oh, and I never write down a story until I already know how I tell it. I’ve found in the past that writing stories, then trying to memorize them and say them as if I was reading them off a page, produces dull, plodding stories.

For exciting, engaging stories, work it around in your head and figure out how you want to tell it. As you get better and better at spinning your story, people are going to get entranced by your tales…

To your successes, and some safe danger,

Chase Amante

About Bobby Rio

I'm Bobby Rio, one of the founders of TSB. I tend to write about what is on my mind so you'll find a mix of self development, social dynamics and dating articles/experiences.  For a collection of some of my favorite articles check them out.

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11 Comments

  1. Diceman

    January 18, 2008 at 8:14 pm

    Hey, I found this on youtube, it’s about some of the similar points on storytelling. 🙂

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sOUk7cMXqrg&feature=PlayList&p=7F3A69999E0CEE5A&index=34

  2. Diceman

    January 18, 2008 at 8:20 pm

    btw…if the link did not work, go to the channel “SucceedAtDating” on youtube and you will find the clip there. the clip title is “How To Create Your Own Attraction Story” . I found it really helpful!

  3. Bobby_Rio

    January 19, 2008 at 7:40 am

    thanks Diceman,

    I’ll post it for everyone.

  4. FredEx

    January 19, 2008 at 5:23 pm

    i think Good & Effective story telling is one of my weaknesses.. its weird. whenever i find myself beginning to tell a story, and i start to feel that all the attention turns towards me, i get nervous. and by getting nervous my vocal tonality and way of telling the story alters from how i want it to come out and it ends up usually going nowhere.

    im barely on Day 3 of the Stylelife Challenge (yes i bought the book), and thats one of the main things it stresses.

  5. Zeo

    January 19, 2008 at 6:37 pm

    Your doing the challenge too? I’m stuck on day 4 just out of a sheer lack of motivation these days, idk why. But anyways this was a really helpful post. One of my weaknesses is that I talk to fast sometimes and not loud enough.

  6. FredEx

    January 19, 2008 at 6:45 pm

    Zeo,

    if you live on your own, you should be able to do the challenges no problem.. its part of becoming a pua to do things out of the ordinary.
    my problem isnt the lack of motivation to do it, its just hard to do certain exercises when you live with family lol

  7. Kevin

    January 19, 2008 at 7:17 pm

    This is a great post- a great article. Thanks for sharing Bobby.

    This is one of my main sticking points- my story is always short and lacks alot of enthusiasm, always being rushed, and the punch line doesn’t give the results I’d expect.
    Its such a shame that i don’t see much good story tellers, people just talk shit nowadayz XD.

    @ FredEx and Zeo: I just bought Style’s new book on thursday. I haven’t started yet, since i’ve been so busy with my skool work. I plan to start soon and tweak it so it fits with Bobby’s “How to be the popular kid”.
    My problem isn’t lack of motivation, family -maybe
    ,but finding time to fit through these missions XD. But I’ll still do my best, it’ll be worth it in the end, atleast i know im not the only 1 doing the challenge..

    Pzz

  8. FredEx

    January 19, 2008 at 7:55 pm

    Kev.
    time shouldnt really be an issue.. as most of the exercises that ive done in the early lessons dont require that much time. just privacy unless your comfortable with your family knowing your goal in becoming a pickup artist lol.
    either way, just make sure you commit to the homework assignments. even if it takes you a couple days to do a lesson, just make sure you get the homework done. just because it says 30 days doesnt mean you can skip a homework just to get to the next lesson.

  9. Kevin

    January 19, 2008 at 8:04 pm

    FredEx i understand now.

    I really want to commit myself to this, I now see how fortunate that i am getting all this help at this young age. This is one of my New Year’s resolution, so yeah…Unlike all the rest, i plan to stick with this one.

    Pzz

  10. Seraf24

    January 22, 2008 at 1:58 am

    He had some good DHV spikes in there.

    I always make sure to include pre-selection myself. I always mention another girl in my bullshit stories I make up (unless they’re true).

    -Seraf

  11. Teddy Bear

    January 23, 2008 at 4:52 am

    i got an email from gambler from puatraining.com on this same subject so i figured id share it. it has some common points:

    OK. So, you are talking to your target. You need to hook her. You probably have someone within your social circle who dominates conversations. I don’t mean in a hostile or arrogant fashion. No, rather than that, I’m talking about a person who just seems to ooze confidence and charisma when they are talking. The kind of person who grabs your attention and sucks you into their stories. What would you give for those kinds of skills? The kind of skills that help with pulling women and, also, can be used in your day-to-day life to make you better at public speaking and interviews? Most people would give quite a bit… It took me a long while, and a lot of analysis, to break down the constituent parts that all the best conversationalists have. And guess what? I’m going to let you have a peek now. For free!

    Here’s what they do and don’t do:

    1. No “errrs, ummms, ands…”

    You HAVE to remove these from your speech. They are redundant and they make people lose interest. Want to find out how much you use these verbal tics? Record yourself and analyse the playback. Most people use them a lot, usually to give themselves a moment to think. What do you need to do instead…?

    2. Use Pauses

    Apart from giving you a moment to think, a pause draws people in. It is a valuable tool of politicians and skilled public speakers. By pausing … at key points … people start to … hang onto … your every … word. Try it out. You will already be a better conversationalist than 99% of people.

    3. Be Emotive When Speaking

    Or at least give that impression. You should always speak with passion. If you don’t seem to be enthusiastic or passionate about something, it won’t matter a bit how interesting the thing is that you are talking about – people will lose interest. If you can master this, women will be caught up in your story and start to feel emotions too. Tony Robbins is an excellent example of someone who seems to always speak with passion and emotion. It’s possible that, occasionally, he “fakes it to make it,” but it doesn’t matter. He still sounds vital and full of energy.

    4. Eye Contact

    Big one, this. Make eye contact with the woman or with each member of the group to whom you are talking. Never look down (it’s submissive), and don’t look away. I’ve read tons of books on body language and I’ve field-tested my theories for hours. I know this to be true: when you make eye contact with someone, they pay more attention. They will think you are confident, strong and alpha. If you look away, their attention will wander and they’ll lose interest. If you are in a group, pay attention to each member of the group so that you keep them all interested.

    5. Gestures

    Another key skill, especially with larger groups. Movement catches the eye’s attention more than anything else, so if the group is too big to hold eye contact with, the use of gestures will help to keep their attention focussed on where it needs to be: you.

    6. Facial Animation

    Being expressive really draws people in. Try this out if you don’t believe me: hold a poker face when you are speaking about something really fun and watch for the negative effect. The emotion you express generates an emotional response in the woman.

    7. Tonality

    This one works like a charm. A sure-fire way to hold attention is to vary your tone of voice. It takes practice, and shouldn’t use it too often or too obviously, but a touch of voice tone variation adds a lot. Try reading the most interesting thing in the world in a monotone and you’ll see what I mean.

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