Mastering The Art Of Storytelling As A Conversation Technique
What I want to pass on is how to tell a story in a way that captures and leads the imagination, so that it brings her into your world (ever heard that before??).
Men who are naturally successful with women almost always have a sincere interest in life, and in living it to the fullest. We are going to talk at length about passion, and its relevance to being attractive in the final chapter, but I will touch on it here as it relates to storytelling. These “naturals” also seem to have a lot of activities going on, where they are able to test themselves, and grow as men. Their life is interesting. It brings a lot of fascination and intrigue because they have an open mind, and choose to explore it.
One way that this serves to help them in their lives with women is that they have interesting stories to tell. Women (and most people) are captivated by a good story. The best storytellers always fill their words and tales with drama, humor, passion, intrigue and mystery. Next time you are at the beach, notice what kinds of books women are reading while they sunbathe. Last summer, I seemed to see a lot of romance novels, as well as mystery and suspense novels. Women are most often led by their emotional center, and when they find something (or someone) who understands how to communicate with them in an emotional way, they get interested.
What might be some topics to focus on when considering what stories to tell while in the presence of women? Here’s a list (some of these might look familiar):
• Pop Culture
• Emotionally charged memories & experiences
• Humorous stories from your life
These topics are great because they are entertaining, exciting, funny and generate positive emotions. Also, the more interested you already are in a certain topic the better. This helps you to be enthusiastic when telling your story, a necessary prerequisite for capturing someone’s attention. If you have a natural interest in one of the above topics, it makes sense for you to want to share stories from your life that reflect this interest.
So, what are some ways that we can develop this skill?
1) Pay attention
2) Learn emotional communication
3) Live passionately
Let’s spend a minute now with each of these topics.
People tend to sleep walk through their lives. Great poets seem to always highlight this when they discuss the smallest things, which most of us don’t see and appreciate. As you go through your life, pay attention to what you see. Recently, I saw a middle-aged man who was rather upset at a neighborhood kid. The kid had apparently just bumped the man’s shoulder while walking down the street. So, the man turned and started yelling at the kid. However, the man failed to realize that the kid was wearing headphones and couldn’t hear him. So, as he got louder and louder, the kid simply stood there, waiting for the light to change, without a care in the world. Those of us around the man noticed this, and couldn’t help but chuckle at his futility. This story illustrates a couple of things. First, this man wasn’t paying attention, and therefore made a fool of himself on the street. Second, this makes for a great story when communicating with women. Why? It is funny, it involves men behaving foolishly, and it is visual. A story that is visual is excellent because the listener can imagine the events in her mind bringing her closer to the reality of the event. When telling a story, remember to paint the picture for someone. Get them involved by creating clear images of what is happening. Great storytellers are comfortable using their body, facial expressions and voice to illuminate the story. This allows them to enter into that world, and have a similar experience of the story as you had when witnessing it. This strengthens the connection between the two of you, painting an attractive portrait of your world.
Each day of your life is full of scenes, scenarios, and happenings that make for good stories. Also, many men forget that women like it when we make fun of ourselves. It communicates that you are secure with yourself. If you can tell a funny story which pokes fun at yourself, it illustrates that you are human and are comfortable with that. This always gets great reactions from women.
I want to emphasize the importance of paying attention to what is happening around you. This can help you in all areas of your life, not just in relating to women. No one’s life is so boring, so lacking in humor, beauty and drama, as to prevent them from having any interesting stories to relate to others. Here is an appropriate mindset:
You find your life interesting, and the world fascinates you; you, naturally, wish to convey this to others as you are a very social guy; you want others to come into your world so you invite them in with a story.
Learn emotional communication: If women could hit us all over the heads, and in a flash change one thing about men, it would be that we are not in contact with our emotions, our feelings. In order to communicate emotionally, we first must be in touch with our own emotional lives. This means being open to how we are feeling, each and every moment. (Check out David Deida’s “Blue Truth” for more on this)
Emotional communication is when you speak in a way that creates emotions in the listener. The way to do this as a storyteller is to invite the senses and emotions into the story. This means to recreate the images that you observed, and sounds and smells you experienced, and anything you physically felt as a result of the experience. Being open to your emotional life allows you to re-feel these feelings when telling a story. If you feel it, she will feel it; this allows her to understand you, while also engaging her emotionally which is more interesting.
Men tend to be stoic, stiff, logical people, governed more by their intellect while women tend to be more emotional and centered in their feelings. The “natural” is not stiff; he is relaxed and unafraid to convey emotions. He relates a story from his life with real feeling and he sympathizes with women intuitively. At the same time he offers them strength and challenges them to face things in a more balanced way. He is unafraid to give himself to something with a great deal of passion. The next time you go to a bar, or club, or somewhere where people are socializing, notice the men who have women with them. Are they the stiff, nervous-looking guys who are mostly silent and appear as a deer in headlights when face-to-face with a beautiful woman? Nope. Are they the relaxed, confident guys who are just having fun, joking around with people, sharing the moment and their life lightheartedly, without the appearance of being under a lot of pressure? You bet.
So, an important aspect of good storytelling is to relax, and open up. Feel free to feel your way through an interaction with a woman. I encourage all men to be open to their emotional lives. Endeavor to see that you, along with many people, have rich emotional lives. When you are open emotionally, it allows you a great resource with which to relate and connect with others. This can help you get closer to other people (particularly women). This doesn’t require therapy, or analysis of any kind – unless you have severe challenges. Learn to laugh, and enjoy yourself; learn to have compassion for others; learn to sympathize; learn to challenge yourself and others to live fuller lives. See what I mean by this? This doesn’t mean to indulge in negative emotions (jealousy, fear, depression, anger etc). It does mean to be more social, more open, and more involved in the world around you.
Once you open up and begin to trust and listen to yourself, you will begin to notice many cues that were always there before, but that you were unaware of…why? You weren’t paying attention, that’s why.
This is an invaluable skill when storytelling because it adds a dimension to it that women strongly relate to – an emotional dimension.
OK, so now let’s get into the nuts and bolts of this skill. A good storyteller communicates both the images and emotions experienced by the characters in the story. This gives the listener the same images and emotions. Let’s go back to the minor example above, to demonstrate. I am going to illustrate two ways to recount this story, which do you think is the better way?
“I saw this middle-aged man today. He was walking down the street, when a youngster bumped him and caused him to drop his grocery bag. After this happened, the man turned to his left, and began to shout at the boy. The boy, wearing headphones, could not hear the man, and therefore, continued on his path unapologetically.”
“Ha, check this out. I was walking home from work today right? I see this kinda tough older Italian guy. He was like a guy who used to be a mobster, but was totally past his prime. He wore an expression like this – (makes face like a monkey), had on his wife-beater t-shirt and suspenders the whole package, right? So, anyway, this guy is marching down the street like he owns it, when this teenager you know, like a neighborhood kid, wearing sneakers, gold chains, hat on crooked and stuff – walks by, and unbelievably, bumps the ol’ gangster in the shoulder! Ha! You should have seen the steam coming out of the gangster’s ears – like a cartoon. He turns (mimics this, and laughing), faces the kid and begins to shout expletives down the street he was all hunched over, just like an old gorilla. Now, the funny thing is the kid never responded. He kept walking, without even missing a step amazing. Well, I looked a bit closer at the kid, and he was wearing headphones he couldn’t hear a word the old gorilla was saying! He was lost in the world of JayZ or something. If he had seen him, it would have looked like “The Sopranos” on mute or something. Gorilla man eventually ran out of energy remember, he is past his prime and had to suck it up and pick up his groceries himself. He muttered to himself the entire time and then, right at the end, as he was walking away he turned to the spot where the collision happened spat right on the sidewalk.”
Now, which of these is more engaging and humorous? Definitely the second example, right? The emotions felt by the characters in the story are captured and conveyed through clearly communicated images, and by the teller reliving the emotions as he tells them! Emotional communication is far more powerful than logical communication, because the listener is able to experience the feeling of being there. This is a more satisfying experience, and it also creates a stronger connection between you and her, as she now feels as if she has actually shared this experience with you. Amazingly, most guys talk like the first example. Incredible right? How about you?
The second version of the story also packs in lots of images which allow the listener to enter into the world of the story, and experience it like he/she was there. Also, see how the storyteller is willing to mimic the foolish elements from the story? This is a subtle was to poke fun at yourself while communicating that you are comfortable and relaxed in your own skin. This is no minor detail, and if you feel awkward doing this in the beginning, that is ok. Lastly, and most importantly, see how the emotional moments of the story are hit and built upon until the end, when the man futilely tries to finally get even by spitting on the sidewalk? The teller (and therefore the listener) is reliving the story. He is in the story as if he were the characters living the scenario for the first time. This allows the listener to experience the event. Make sense?
A man who lives passionately has both a wealth of interesting stories to tell, and a personal connection with each. This frees a lot of positive emotional energy and enthusiasm into the story, helping involve the listener in the world you are describing. By learning to live the life you truly want, you will naturally have greater feeling for the events you witness and experience, which translates naturally into better socializing. The man who lives with passion is rarely, if ever, short on conversation.
One last point here, and this is very important. In socializing, and in particular with women, you have to be willing to take up space. Being confident enough to take the spotlight for a minute or two is strong and healthy. You have to be willing to do this. In the beginning, it might be uncomfortable but it does improve over time. You have a right to be on this planet, going for what you want, so don’t be scared to take up some space in a conversation.