Main menu


5 Ways People Ruin Their Story Telling Potential

Being able to tell a good, relatable story is a social skill that everyone who wants to be more persuasive, charming, and likable should master. It’s not a coincidence that some of the greatest public speakers in the world have mastered the art of storytelling, and use stories to relay their messages rather than facts and bullet points.

5 Ways People Ruin Their Story Telling Potential

Well-known public motivational speakers like Eric Thomas, Tony Robbins, and Les Brown has empowered millions through telling their own personal challenging stories in a way that is engaging and relatable. Now you may not want to empower or inspire millions of people, but you might want to build better relationships at a networking event and get people to like you.

We all love stories, especially stories that make us feel as though the person telling the story can relate to our challenges, our feelings, or what we may being going through in that particular moment. We also love stories that comes to life in our minds where the words someone speaks paint a picture. That’s the reason we love story telling at bonfires and why we used to ask our parents to read us a story before we went to sleep.

Stories can be very entertaining and can make someone feel more comfortable around you when the story is relatable to their lives. Stories can also be bad, when told in a way that is diseasing, uninteresting, and too spastic. Here are 7 Social mistakes people make when story telling.

1. Over-the-top delivery and expressions

Being too spastic and too dramatic can be a story killer. Using facial expressions, body language, and a nice tone of voice can captivate the listener and make the story come more to life, but when you are too dramatic, it can diminish the creditability of the story and make it less interesting.

You don’t need to use over-the-top hand gestures and an overly dramatic voice every time you speak. Just tone down your voice to your normal speaking voice and use hand gestures more. When there is an exciting story detail that you are enthused about, you can tone up your voice and use facial expressions such as smiling more to be more engaging. Learning how to use your body language and tone of voice can work magic when you are telling a story.

2. Too many gimmicks and don’t keep it simple

When telling someone a story, you don’t need to tell every little detail like what color shoes you were wearing unless the story entails it. Keep the story simple and on topic and don’t use too many gimmicks that make it seem like you are beating around the bush, and not getting to the conclusion of the story. At first the story may seem exciting to the listener, but will ultimately get boring.

3. They are not enthusiastic and don’t particularly enjoy the story

When telling a story to someone, it is one thing to be too enthused, and it another to be not enthused enough. Tell a story that you particularly feel connected to and try to remember the feeling that the story brought to your life at that time. This will help you to feel more engaged and your listener will ultimately feel more engaged as well. People have a keen sense of knowing how you feel, and if you are bored with your own story or show it through your body language, they will pick on it and be bored as well.

4. They don’t know the story in detail

The stories that you remember more in detail are the ones that have stirred the strongest feelings in your life at the time, whether it be happiness, sadness, anxiety, anger, or fear.

You also tend to remember things that happened recently to you. You want to tell a story that you remember in detail, and not a story that you have to stop and think what happened every five seconds. When you have to stop in the middle of the story, saying “umm” and “let me think”, it makes the story boring. You want the story to flow well in order to keep the listener entertained.

5. They don’t use details

There is a difference between knowing the story in detail to make it flow smoothly, and using details to make it more interesting. When you tell a story, you don’t want to use too much detail, but you also don’t want too little detail. This may seem a little counterintuitive to #3 about keeping it simple, but it’s not.

You want to keep the story simple, but also balanced. When talking about how you were robbed in your car, explaining how and detailing where you were robbed will make the story more interesting, but talking about the color of the robber’s jacket may not be important.

Read more: Great Speakers And Presenters Do These 9 Things

Take Away

Story telling is one of the best ways to make a connection with someone and get them to like you and open up more, especially if the story is relatable. Here is a recap of the 5 things people do that ruins the story telling potential.

  • Using over-the-top body language, tone of voice, and facial expressions.
  • Using too much details and beating around the bush.
  • Not being enthused about the story.
  • Their story don’t flow well.
  • Not using any details at all.


table of contents title