| November 28, 2018

Last updated: November 29, 2018

Podcast, Public Speaking, Social Skills

Podcast #462: How to Tell Better Stories

Humans are storytelling and story-listening creatures. We use stories to teach, persuade, and to make sense of the complexities of existence. Being able to craft and deliver a good story is thus a real advantage in all areas of life, giving you a foot up when doing job interviews, going on dates, interacting with friends, or making a sales pitch.

Fortunately, good storytelling is a skill that can learned by anyone. Here to teach us the art of storytelling is Matthew Dicks, a writer, five-time Moth GrandSlam storytelling winner, and the author of the book Storyworthy: Engage, Teach, Persuade, and Change Your Life through the Power of Storytelling. 

Today on the show, Matthew walks us through the nuts and bolts of how to craft a compelling story. We begin our conversation discussing ways to generate story ideas, why good stories don’t have to be about big moments, and why he recommends a practice called “Homework for Life.” Matthew then tells us what we can learn from movies about making a story so engaging that people are waiting to hear what you say next. We also discuss the don’ts of storytelling, including how to never begin a story. And we end our conversation with a five-minute story from Matthew that showcases all the principles we discussed during the show.

Show Highlights

  • How did Matthew become, essentially, a professional storyteller?
  • Which moments in life are storyworthy?
  • Why “drinking stories” aren’t the kind of stories that stay with us
  • The difference between anecdotes and stories 
  • Why small moments can make for more powerful stories than big moments
  • Homework for life
  • Why paying attention to storyworthy moments can make your life more meaningful
  • The “first, last, best, worst” framework
  • The first step in turning an idea into a story 
  • How you should never begin a story 
  • Does a story have an ideal length?
  • Should a good storyteller embellish?
  • How do you get a story going at a social event or in everyday life?
  • Why learning to tell better stories can make you a better person

Resources/People/Articles Mentioned in Podcast

Connect With Matthew

Matthew on Twitter

Matthew’s website

Matthew’s storytelling podcast: Speak Up Storytelling

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Coming soon!