Top tips in these trying times of the storytelling takeover

You guys, have you noticed? No one is doing conversations anymore! It’s over, passé, defunct. Nowadays, all the cool kids are telling stories. Think about it: when you sit down for drinks or dinner with another human, nine times out of ten, someone goes: “Oh my goodness, so here’s what happened…” And lo, the story beginneth.

And listen, I deeply and truly love a good story. But social storytelling is an art and just as our distant ancestors had to practice and hone the art of conversation, we too have a responsibility to craft and wrangle our storytelling skills. Sadly, I have noticed that not everyone is attending to their duty properly. So, I have put together a few handy tips to help you up your game and check you’re not being a monotonous, droning bore, dominating the duet.

  1. Practise your story beforehand on a cat. They are life’s harshest judges, with particular disdain for any digression, irrelevance and self-importance. If your kitty critic shows you its bumhole, cut some of the erroneous faff and get to the point.
  2. When in full oratory flow, casually drop in a racist joke. If your audience calls you on it, you know that you are keeping their attention and also that they may not be racist. Bonus!
  3. Grab your listener by the hair and aggressively jiggle their head around to check they are not wearing a super-realistic wakey-wakey mask of themselves to cover up their actual sleeping face.
  4. Detonate a remotely activated bomb in a nearby location. When the kerfuffle settles down, if your listener turns to you with a “Sorry, you were saying?”, you know you’re story-ing like an enthralling pro. (Do your best not to maim anyone with your bomb. Storytelling is important but…)
  5. If your listener fidgets, yawns, attempts to change the subject, firmly walks away or spontaneously combusts, do not attempt to continue the tale. No one likes a story-pusher.
  6. When you have finished your story (and the applause dies down), consider thinking about contemplating letting someone else have a go before you launch into another one.


I do hope this helps. Let us all try to be better storytellers; ’tis indeed a noble aim. If, though, you aren’t quite ready to let go of the utterly incomparable experience of engaging in a beautifully balanced to and fro, a delicious and discursive, edifying and challenging conversation, come and find me.

If you’re on board with this, you might enjoy some of my previous musings on the subject.


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