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How to Tell a Good Story – 5 Essential Conversation Tips

Exchanging stories with others is one of the greatest pleasures in life! We enjoy sharing and hearing them.

Stories make us feel valued and heard and allow us to escape into different realities. All in all, we’re humans, and humans love to talk!

Today we are bringing you several tips that are essential in learning how to tell a good story.

How to tell a good story - a group of people in a pub.

How to Tell a Good Story

While most of us adore telling stories, it is a skill that does not come as naturally to some as it does to others.

Telling stories can also be regarded as an art that allows us to forge bonds and express ourselves.

Some people miss out on this because they’re either nervous or unsure about their people skills. Sometimes getting the hang of storytelling can be awkward, but we’re here to tell you not to lose hope!

If you’re interested, keep reading!

#1 – Develop interest.

It’s crucial to pass on the topic or message of your story to your audience. How you do this largely depends on the person that is listening to you.

Of course, it is humanly impossible to guess at first sight what aspects of life might interest one particular person. However, certain elements like age, gender, the academic direction can help us make a pretty sound guess.

To learn how to tell a good story, try your best to keep things as interesting as possible. If you’re droning on and on about something bland, the outcome is going to be just as dull.

The topic that we’re speaking on might mean a lot to us, but it is always important to remember that the story should fit the context well!

While you are the one telling your story, you always direct it towards other people. If they don’t become interested in what you have to say, you might as well have skipped telling the story altogether.

Two women laughing.

#2 – Have a structure.

Your story should be directed at a particular center point or issue that it aims to communicate.

A story that isn’t structured tends to have repetition, confusion, and hesitation. None of these are qualities that comprise a great story.

All the story segments should lead to one vital point, and not adhering to this usually ruins your story.

This pointer does not in any way mean that you should rehearse or make your storytelling robotic.

Rather, a great story has something to pass on to the audience and is either a pleasant or simply impactful affair. Having a structure can be easily achieved by making certain mental notes before verbally telling a story.

So, if you’ve wondered how to tell a good story, the structure is an excellent place to start!

#3 – Clarify your role in the story.

This one might sound a bit self-worshipping when considered at first, but clearly stating what your part in the story is or was is beneficial.

Why?

It puts the setting right in front of the audience and helps them make better sense of the story.

Were you an observer? Did the event happen to you, or was it recounted to you by someone else completely? Doing this helps keep things real and light for the listeners.

Clarifying your role in the story also helps improve the way your audience perceives you.

If you tell them about a particular story you were a witness to, they might applaud your observational skills. In some cases, if you passed on the story, they might identify you as someone who has an excellent memory.

All in all, the quality of your story very much depends on how you present yourself to the audience.

Story structure - clarifying your role in the story.

#4 – Welcome queries.

Many people hate the idea of interruption as they are in the middle of telling a very important story. They deem this as an attack damaging their flow and the story’s rhythm.

However, it would help if you took questions as indicators of interest in the story. Questions show that people are drawn enough to the story to ask for details about it. 

If you’re open to them, it also improves your perception as a great conversationalist and storyteller. People also feel warmly towards individuals that are easy to interact with and accepting of their queries.

A crucial part of telling a good story is embracing questions with open arms and providing satisfying answers. You will draw in the audience with much more energy and render your story one for the ages!

#5 – Expect conflict.

Whenever a conversation is underway, conflict is sure to erupt.

Why is this?

Human beings come in all varieties in terms of thoughts, values, and opinions. So, whenever you tell a story, someone from your audience might raise a question on a certain part that they might find controversial. Or better yet, someone might refute something you say altogether.

It does little good to become defensive in such situations.

Instead, be patient in letting the person voice their perspective, appear composed, and then state facts. This approach increases the weight of your side of the conversation and makes the story even more factual.

The audience’s perception of the speaker greatly influences how they process the particular story they are telling. 

Conclusion

In short, telling a good story depends roughly on three things:

  • the content of your story
  • how you deliver it
  • how you as a speaker can place yourself in the conversation

Communicating with others is an essential part of life and cannot be avoided based on our little doubts and fears. Thus, it is incredibly important that a person who seeks to be part of conversations practices all the aspects mentioned above.

A great story is an asset by itself, but adding the conversation tips that we have enlisted for you in this article will add more life and flavor to the conversation.

We hope skimming through this has helped clarify some of the doubts you may have had regarding your conversation skills.

The room for improvement is always present in every aspect of life. If you’re already a good conversationalist, a conscious effort will make your communication even better.

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