The next story telling technique is very powerful and ties back into displaying your personality and bringing your characters to life.
This technique is adding TOUCH to your stories.
This really helps paint the picture and get your audience more involved.
An example of this would be like "My friend and I were walking over there like this... (lock arm in arm)."
Only hold whatever touch you are displaying for the appropriate part of the story. If you are using something like the arm and arm example, you would only do it for that short instance, not tell the rest of the story arm and arm.
An example I would use in my story is when describing his weirdness would be "I would be talking with some of my friends and he would come up from behind me, stick his arm around me like this (put arm on girls shoulder and pull her in, give her a little shake, showing exactly what he did to me).
The key to not making this look obvious is to continue telling your story while initiating the touch, and not looking at where you are touching or pausing and waiting for any form of reaction.
Another fun thing to sprinkle into your stories is subtle hints that raise your desirability.
These include mentioning other women in your life, having special social privileges, being the leader of your group, and doing things that make you stand out.
These are all essentially tasteful ways to brag in your stories... without actually bragging. Now you don't need these but in some cases can add a special flare to your stories.
I do this often by mentioning other women in my stories. You can do this by changing the word "friend" to "girlfriend" or name dropping by saying "my friends Lisa and Sarah" anything along those lines.
They need to be subtle and never the subject of your story. They are just minor details.
To make them theme authentic, do not provide an explanation for them. If part of your story involves you hooking up with multiple people, don't provide an explanation for it, instead just keep talking, it's not the focus on the story and by not providing an explanation, it comes off as a perfectly natural thing that is no big deal.
Once you have thrown in all these fun storytelling tactics it time to give it the once over.
Eliminate all unnecessary content and make sure your story is moving along and does not drag out. That is the biggest problem people make, they drag their stories out too long about things that don't affect the overall story. Be sure to eliminate redundancies.
For now...you should be aiming for about 2 mins stories.
How much you share all depends on how your storytelling skills develop. A masterful storyteller could captivate the audience for 20 mins. But for now, focus on getting 2-3 solid mins of your audiences attention.
Remember to look for clues of people fading out so you know when to speed things up and get to the punch line.
Always make sure you are keeping eye contact, this will help hold the audiences attention.
Here is the FINAL revised version of my story. Enjoy:
Me: "Hey guys...how do you deal with people when you just caaaaannt get them to leave you alone?!"
Group: "blah blah"
Me: "Yeah that's interesting so check this out...the other day I am at Club Voodoo, you ever been? (Check in point)...Cool, anyway I walk in with a group of my friend Lisa and some friends she brought along. There is a decent amount of people in the club, we are all having a great time and meeting lots of cool new people.
Well this one guy somehow works his into my "group" and he just has this annoying vibe. Like he is so out of place, he was walking around with a Harley Davison Motorcycle hat on and like this tainted banana colored polo. You know when someone just clearly does not belong and seems out of place... kind of like that guy (Put arm on person from audiences shoulder and point to someone else outside the audience)
So my friends and I keep trying to avoid him but he just won't back down, he would just follow us everywhere we went, buzzing around like a mosquito...with a really bad taste in clothing...like you have no idea how bad it was, I would be talking to some of Lisa's friends and he would come up, stick his head between us and wrap us both in his arms and give us a little shake like this...(Do exactly what he did on them) And the worst part is he had this nasty...thick breath....oh it was terrible.
(Random Story Telling Tip: Appeal to the senses, especially the smell, it is the least addressed and most memorable.) Anyway... my friends and I try to get away by going to the VIP floor and we have been drinking the free energy drinks all night and made a super tall pyramid out of cans. (Illustrate structure with arms).
Then all of a sudden, the creepy guy weasels his way onto the floor and sits down at our table... and like a jackass he tries to add a can to the structure. (Start slowing things down for the punch line)
Little did he know... that although the Red Bull on the top of the structure was opened... it was full... so this guy tries to add his can to the top then BAM!...................the whole structure falls right into his lap and the filled soda can pours all over his crotch!
(Create dramatic spill scene around your crotch, getting the girl to look there, although sneaky, creates lots of subtle sensual messages)
It looked like he wet his pants!
His face turns beat red and he just runs downstairs and we assume he left the club cause we didn't see him again... I don't know what the big deal is...I thought it was hilarious!
(Share a good laugh with your audience, initiate more touch if you so please, initiating touch during laughter is very powerful)
If we look back at the original example of...
"So the other day I am at club voodoo with my friends and I am going around making some new friends and having a good time. Well this one guy somehow works his way into my group but then ends up not leaving us alone all night, and he was a really annoying person that you just don't want to talk to. He kept making every interaction in the club awkward and would not leave until he actually gets a hint and goes home."
You can see the dramatic changes these steps can make to any story.
Before I conclude this oh so long newsletter....I want to leave you with a couple advanced story telling tips.
-If you are telling the same story, increase vocabulary in it, use powerful verbs and adjectives to bring the story to life/
-Always be painting a picture, appeal to all the senses when possible.
-Start your stories at the end. If you ever saw the movie Fight Club you will notice how you are caught up into the story right from the beginning because you are curious to see how Edward Norton's character got himself in such a dangerous situation. You can start your story at the end then build up to really captivate your audience.
-The more emotion you put into a story the better, the more emotion you show in a story, the more mistakes you can make because your emotion and commitment to the story covers all that up.
-Avoid pauses like "ummmm and ugghhh" everyone has a bad habit when they stumble in there stories.
-Do not memorize your stories. You don't want to sound like you are reading from a script, you want it to seem natural. It is possible to be too good at telling your stories and then it is almost like the listener is watching a scripted play. Just understand the concepts and events of your story, there should always be some slight differences when you tell your story. Practice telling it...but don't become a scripted narrator.
-Lastly and most important to sum things up....
Do not tell your stories AT your audience...tell your stories TO your audience.
Make sure they are always getting involved and as you are telling your story, keep your eyes open for cues in the interaction you do not always have time to look for.
Use these cues to find what points of your stories get certain reactions, and use them to move the story along. You pick up on different things if you are telling a story you know well, this is another way storytelling continues to improve your game.