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.
- 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
- The Moth
- Homework for Life
- How to Make Time for What Really Matters Every Day
- 3 Simple Steps to Telling a Great Story
Connect With Matthew
Matthew’s storytelling podcast: Speak Up Storytelling
Listen to the Podcast! (And don’t forget to leave us a review!)
Recorded on ClearCast.io
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Read the Transcript