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Storytelling Tip #1

You have heard it said that every story has a beginning, middle and end. But have you ever been in that conversation with that friend where the story…just…seemed…to…never…end?

We tell stories for various reasons. On a day-in, day-out basis, we communicate in stories with our colleagues, our friends and our family. We tell stories to make connections. ‘How was your day, dear?’ or ‘What did you do over the weekend?’ can be the jumping-off point for a story.

However, not all these stories are great theater. They don’t belong on a stage or in a book. But they are the thread that weaves together our conversation and connections.

So, when someone asked me recently, ‘what’s your number one tip when I’m telling a story in common conversation?’ My answer was simple: "Know when to end it."

Remember – you started the story to make a point, or to answer a question within the conversation. You don’t need EVERY detail. Make it shorter. If the person you are speaking to doesn’t understand, they will ask a question.

One way to tell if you are going on too long? Look at the other person(s). If you notice a look of boredom in the body language, or their eyes start glazing over - that’s a good sign you have gone on too long or given too many unnecessary details!

Don’t be afraid to skip to the end. You started to tell the story to make a point. Get to it.

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