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How To Tell Stories

Author: Sebastian Drake

When I was younger and perhaps a tad more arrogant, I had a saying:

"Modesty is for those of modest capabilities." I knew I was elite, and I didn't fail to let anyone know.

The only problem is that I came across as a jerk. Outright bragging is no good. But does that mean we should swing the other way on the spectrum to quiet and passive modesty?

People can have a hard time finding things to talk about with girls. They mumble about boring stuff like the weather and television. And all the while they have something unique and interesting that they should be sharing with the world. Everyone has something. But they don't want to come across as bragging. Stories offer an opportunity to do that.

Here's some tips to get you going:

*Build a relationship when you tell a story: Be smooth. Relax, and slowly offer up more details. Until you have a reputation (like Chris Rock or George Carlin) it's the frame and relationship you have that makes a story funny.

One of my friends owns his own business, and he's constantly having crazy adventures. I love hearing his stories because they're so well told. Since he and I already have a great relationship, he'll just lay out the details. But when someone he doesn't know well is with us, he'll build slowly and it's magical to behold.

*Catch their attention early: A "deadpan" or other edgy part of a story is a great way to do this, especially if there's some boring details in the buildup. Think of the movie Fight Club: It starts with Edward Norton with a gun in his mouth, and then goes into Norton traveling around with insomnia. If it just started with the insomnia, it would have been too boring to engage a lot of people.

I'll be sitting with my entrepreneur friend, and he'l deadpan, "My warehouse burnt down" (he's a light-hearted guy, and means for it to be funny; that's probably part of how he survives his volatile business). After deadpanning that, the audience is really engaged and he can go back and do some boring details about the warehouse before getting to the punchline.

*Don't be in a hurry to finish your story: Start on it, and if it branches somewhere else, great! The best storytellers are interesting to listen to every time they tell the same story, because there's always different elements and tangents. The punch line isn't the goal: The whole experience is what makes an awesome story.

My buddy is a master storyteller, and the objective is never the punchline. Oftentimes, he'll get off on a tangent about some Christmas party and it's still a great story. This also builds anticipation and intrigue, since people will come back and ask him later, "Hey, so what happened with that warehouse?"

*Use vivid, descriptive language (aka, "Show, don't tell"): If you're talking about your ex-girlfriend, replace "She was really beautiful" with "She was 6'2, with curves to die for..." while drawing an hourglass in the air with your hands. "...and brunette hair falling halfway down her back. Sparkling eyes that were totally alive." That paints a picture in the audience's mind and connects them to your ex-girlfriend more.

*Verbalize lower value immediately following any bragging-like comments: Here's the secret on how to convey good things about you. Whenever you say something that sounds like you might be bragging, immediately disclaim that you're not really all that. A very effective way is to just throw in, "I guess that sounds like I was really rolling or something, but I actually just got really lucky" at the end of any bragging like stuff.

*Getting the laugh: Look at them expectantly. Here's the secret to wrapping up your story. After you say your punchline, smile and stare at the person expectantly, like you expect them to laugh. Don't try to explain your story, just stare at them like you expect them to laugh because it's funny. If you can master this look, people will laugh after a second or two, regardless of if they got the joke or not.

Fun stuff huh? Try it out, and watch your storytelling grow.

If you'd like to hear great storytelling in action, you've got to hear Master the Vibe: secret audio of pickups captured by top pickup artists. You'll hear us perform this stuff, then explain it so that you can hear exactly how it works. Check it out at here.

Peace and Love,

Sebastian Drake aka Sebastian Drake

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