5 Storytelling Mistakes That Almost Ruined My Life (and How To Fix Them Now) - Deepstash
5 Storytelling Mistakes That Almost Ruined My Life (and How To Fix Them Now)

5 Storytelling Mistakes That Almost Ruined My Life (and How To Fix Them Now)

Curated from: cosmopolitanmindset.substack.com

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When People Lose Interest

When People Lose Interest

Imagine being surrounded by people.

Someone says something that sounds familiar. It’s a story you already lived. And you want to share your experience.

You clear your throat and wait for the best opportunity to slide in. Then, you start talking. And for a moment, everything seems fine. Everybody focuses on you. But as you go ahead, they lose interest.

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The Worst Feeling When Telling A Story

The Worst Feeling When Telling A Story

That’s the worst thing that could happen to your storytelling abilities. But don’t panic!

I’ve made these mistakes myself – hundreds of times. And I can guarantee you can fix them. There’s no need to feel guilty or needy. But you must get to the heart of the problem.

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Why do people get distracted?

Why do people get distracted?

First, you must understand why people are distracted when somebody’s telling a story.

Be careful – I don’t care about generic distractions we use to waste time. I am talking about those that occur during a conversation.

I made many mistakes myself while becoming a better storyteller. And I found at least three reasons why people stop listening.

  • They lose interest in your story because there’s no added value to what you’re saying.
  • An external interference catches everyone’s attention before you hook them with your story.
  • Or people didn’t notice you were telling a story.

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5 Storytelling Mistakes That Almost Ruined My Life

5 Storytelling Mistakes That Almost Ruined My Life

When I was younger, I knew nothing about storytelling.

People didn’t listen to me. They found me boring. And they had no problems saying that to my face. But I was so afraid of losing them that I accepted everything.

After years, my confidence grew, and I didn’t accept those behaviors anymore. And as I started to speak up, everybody hooked on my confidence.

So, here are five storytelling mistakes that almost ruined my life and a few solutions to fix them.

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1 – Using poor hooks. (1)

1 – Using poor hooks. (1)

Pook hooks have always been my weak point – a strong admission by someone who claims to be a writer.

But, in my defense, writing hooks and using them while speaking is different.

When you talk to people, you don’t have too much time to think about a great hook. You may hook them with experience and instinct, or you may not.

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1 – Using poor hooks. (2)

1 – Using poor hooks. (2)

People won’t listen to your story if you don’t have a strong hook. They will get distracted by everything:

  • their smartphones
  • another story
  • or even a random thought wavering through their mind.

So, how can you fix this problem?

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How to Keep People Hooked

How to Keep People Hooked

There are plenty of ways you can keep people hooked to your story. But these two do wonders.

  • Use foreshadowing to present an unexpected consequence. People will want to know how you got there.
  • Start with a question to make people think. They will want to share their story and pay attention to find an entry point.

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2 - Giving unclear value.

2 - Giving unclear value.

Any investment expects a return. And you may want to gain something when you invest your time in somebody’s story.

You’re reading this article for the same reason – there are lessons you want to know. And you apply the same while listening to someone, even if you don’t realize it.

So, as I did with the headline, the value of the story should always be some of the first things you share.

The link with the audience fades out when the value isn’t clear. And if you keep making this mistake, everybody will stop listening and find a way out.

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How to Give People Value

How to Give People Value

Giving value is simple when you know your story’s goal. So, before sharing value, ask yourself – what’s this story about?

  • Your value may be excitement if your story is funny.
  • It might be empathy if you’re trying to build an emotional connection.
  • Or you may share a life update. In that case, the value would be your current situation.

Every time you tell a story, put your value first. Prepare people for what they are going to get once you finish. Let them know if your story is fun, sad, exciting, unbelievable, etc. Put your value first, and they will keep listening.

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3 – Using confusing body language.

3 – Using confusing body language.

Confident people attract others – there’s nothing you can do about it. And there are many ways you can become more confident.

  • You can fake it until you make it.
  • You can use self-irony.
  • Or you can become more charismatic by applying the rules I shared in many of my articles.

But one thing will impact your storytelling more than anything else – your body language.

Confusing body language will give people time to get distracted and lose empathy with your story. So, even if you did everything correctly, they will lose interest and find a way to leave.

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How to Use Body Language

How to Use Body Language

Improving your body language skills will improve your life. But storytelling only needs two things.

  • First, you must make eye contact with the right people. In each group, a few people define what the group does. And if you catch their attention, the group will listen to you.
  • And second, you must speak out loud. Don’t give people the impression you are not confident about your story. And don’t be afraid they won’t listen. Many people may not hear you and ignore your story if your voice is low.

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4 – Telling long stories.

4 – Telling long stories.

Go to the point. And do it fast.

You must tell people how you reached the expected result of your foreshadowing in under two minutes. Otherwise, they will stop listening.

Don’t worry if it’s not perfect or if there are some missing parts. If they’re interested, they will ask. But for god’s sake – don’t make us wait five minutes for a story we might not even enjoy.

If I were your only listener, I would leave you pending if you ever try to do something like this to me.

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How to Tell Short Stories

How to Tell Short Stories

Keep it short — it is a simple suggestion. But doing it, it’s challenging.

How do you make a story short?

What do you keep? And what do you remove?

  • Follow the 5W method and say a sentence for each question – who, when, where, what, why.
  • Could you focus on what you foreshadowed in the hook?
  • And keep everything under two minutes. Leave further information for later. Hiding some parts of the story could also be beneficial and intriguing.

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5 – Missing enough practice.

5 – Missing enough practice.

You will never become a good storyteller if you don’t practice with your stories enough.

Here’s a list of the things you must know:

  • one story for each situation
  • how to enhance each story without losing credibility
  • how to recognize good entry points and hooks
  • and which people you should address to remain at the center of attention.

You may even become a good storyteller in your group. But storytelling works best in groups you don’t know when you need to make a good first impression. That’s why you must train a lot in your comfort zone before telling your stories out of it.

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How to Practice Storytelling

How to Practice Storytelling

I already wrote an article about storytelling and its practice . But I will write a few more suggestions here.

  • Practice in front of the mirror. Once you find a story with value, try to say it by yourself without any group pressure and without thinking about the details.
  • Practice with close friends. The best advantage of your comfort zone is the possibility to experiment without repercussions. So, try out different versions of the story with your friends and find out which works best. Then, collect feedback from their questions to stop promising value points.

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THE CHALLENGE OF THE WEEK

Mistakes will forge a good storyteller. But some mistakes could ruin your life – especially when people don’t listen to you.

You will become insecure. You will stop trying. And you will become a member of the group nobody cares about.

But if you want to emerge, avoid these five mistakes and improve your storytelling abilities from the beginning.

Think about your hooks and values. Use the correct body language. Keep your stories short. And practice them in your comfort zone.

THE CHALLENGE OF THE WEEK

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Before you Go

Before you Go

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The Challenge

The Challenge

You are reading an excerpt from The Challenge, a newsletter where I discuss self-improvement, goal-setting, habits, time management, and health tips and tricks.

Every week, you will get the following:

  • a challenge to pursue to improve your life
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IDEAS CURATED BY

cosminangheluta

Passionate about self-improvement, personal growth, finance, and creativity. I love to inspire people to become the better version of themselves. Author @ www.cosmopolitanmindset.com

CURATOR'S NOTE

Do you want to improve your storytelling skills? Learn how to avoid these five common storytelling mistakes that could ruin your story.

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