We are a storytelling species. We love to sit around and listen, laugh, and bond over stories. For those who feel they’ll always be the intent listener and never the one weaving the tale, the good news is that storytelling is an art that can be learned; anyone can turn their experiences into captivating stories. Like any craft, it takes practice and the ability to acquire new behaviors essential to storytelling.
Are you ready to stop limiting yourself to being just another member of the audience and finally be the one who captivates your friends and other dinner party guests with compelling stories? We’ve got great tips on how to master the art of storytelling.
Know Your Audience
Be mindful of who is listening. If you’re a dinner party and want to captivate your audience, tell the type of stories you know they will want to hear. Relatable stories are the ones that will get everyone involved and hanging on to your every word.
Because it’s a dinner party, you want to tell a story that’s uplifting or exciting so as not to dampen the mood. Risk talking about something irrelevant or foreign to the group, and you’ll likely be met with blank stares and the sound of crickets.
Don’t begin your story with boring details. To keep people from tuning you out, you need to hook them from the start with an intro that draws your listeners in right away. It can be as simple as an opening statement of “I have the funniest story” or “you guys will never believe what happened to me recently.”
Opening with lines like these is like an invitation for them to pay attention and get caught up in your story. It’s also a promise that they’re about to hear something unbelievable, funny, or mind-blowing.
Storytellers don’t just describe a series of events; they stick to the interesting details and aim to keep the audience engaged by eliciting emotions. Share what happens in the right sequence so that your listeners keep up. Vary the rate of how you speak; emphasize the exciting parts by talking faster but then slow down to add drama.
Describe how you felt as the events unfold. You may even want to inject some humor by poking fun at yourself. You may wish to engage the listeners and ask them to participate by asking them to imagine or picture themselves in the story.
Keep it Short
The longer the story, the higher the risk of losing your listeners’ attention. Don’t ramble on with unnecessary details. Keep your stories concise. Before telling the story, know the main points, the climax, and how you want to finish. The most memorable stories are the ones that end as strong as they began. Ideally, your closing line should either leave your audience bursting out in laughter or gasping in surprise or delight.
Ready to impress your guests with your storytelling skills at your next DinDin Party? To learn more or to apply to become a DinDin Party Host CLICK HERE.