Imagine you are in a pub, or at a dinner. You are trapped next to someone who is exceedingly dull. How do they do such a good job of boring you?
- They overwhelm with mundane detail (“was it Thursday or Friday…? Let me think… Thursday I changed my pants, so it must have been Friday…”)
- They show off about their heroism / blissfully smug life
- They repeat stories over and over
- They talk only about themselves
- They exaggerate beyond artistic license and veer into bullshit
- They show you endless photos of things you don’t care about (cats and selfies)
- They talk too much
And at that point you either punch them in the face or you just zone out and daydream about nice it would be if you could just ‘Unfollow’ this person like you can on social media, leaving you in blissful peace to go sit next to someone who can tell you a good adventure story instead. Someone you love sitting at a bar with because they…
- Respond to the interests of their audience
- Ask questions, and offer helpful answers to your own questions
- Provide you with escapism, entertainment, or vicarious excitement
- Keep their stories succinct, and know when the appropriate thing to do is lapse into a period of amiable silence
If they tell good stories like this, you’re going to want to buy them a beer and spend more time with them, aren’t you?
I began this blog intending to suggest ways to tell your stories online, but all I’ve actually done is describe how real people in the real world enjoy and respond to stories. Hmmm….