This is a re-broadcast. The episode originally ran in November 2018. 

Humans are storytelling and story-listening creatures. We use stories to teach, persuade, and to make sense of the complexities of existence. Being able to craft and deliver a good story is thus a real advantage in all areas of life, giving you a foot up when doing job interviews, going on dates, interacting with friends, or making a sales pitch.

Fortunately, good storytelling is a skill that can learned by anyone. Here to teach us the art of storytelling is Matthew Dicks, a writer, five-time Moth GrandSlam storytelling winner, and the author of the book Storyworthy: Engage, Teach, Persuade, and Change Your Life through the Power of Storytelling

Today on the show, Matthew walks us through the nuts and bolts of how to craft a compelling story. We begin our conversation discussing ways to generate story ideas, why good stories don’t have to be about big moments, and why he recommends a practice called “Homework for Life.” Matthew then tells us what we can learn from movies about making a story so engaging that people are waiting to hear what you say next. We also discuss the don’ts of storytelling, including how to never begin a story. And we end our conversation with a five-minute story from Matthew that showcases all the principles we discussed during the show.

If reading this in an email, click the title of the post to listen to the show. 

Show Highlights

How did Matthew become, essentially, a professional storyteller?Which moments in life are storyworthy?Why “drinking stories” aren’t the kind of stories that stay with usThe difference between anecdotes and stories Why small moments can make for more powerful stories than big momentsHomework for lifeWhy paying attention to storyworthy moments can make your life more meaningfulThe “first, last, best, worst” frameworkThe first step in turning an idea into a story How you should never begin a story Does a story have an ideal length?Should a good storyteller embellish?How do you get a story going at a social event or in everyday life?Why learning to tell better stories can make you a better person

Resources/People/Articles Mentioned in Podcast

The MothHomework for LifeHow to Make Time for What Really Matters Every Day3 Simple Steps to Telling a Great Story

Book cover of a Storyworthy by Matthew Dicks.

Connect With Matthew

Matthew on Twitter

Matthew’s website

Matthew’s storytelling podcast: Speak Up Storytelling

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