The details are where you win or lose as a storyteller. Choose the best bits.
What I mean by that isn't "tell a story with lots of details and you've got a great story."
No. No no no no,
In fact the opposite is more often true.
So, choose the best bits then tell us about those details. The relevant details are up for grabs and the storyteller has the opportunity to choose only what matters most with the responsibility to tell about the best parts.
It's Monday. When you see people for the first time in a few days you will likely get the chance to recount your weekend to them. They ask because on some level they want you to tell them a story. Tell them a good story. Whether you believe it or not you have one in there. Pick out a couple of good moments and tell us what fascinated you in that.
We are desperate for a good story. Today, tell us a better story than you normally would.
No, you didn't just spend your weekend around the house doing nothing.
You watched 6 episodes of a show on Netflix? Why? What show? What does it make you feel/think about? "I actually spent about 6 hours on Sunday morning watching Fargo. I thought it would only be one episode but the way it leaves me hanging at the end of each episode I just couldn't stop! It has this amazing ability to make me totally creeped out and smiling at the same time, which then kinda creeps me out about myself. I'm almost as amazed by the show as I am by my reaction to it. Have you ever felt that? It was a good weekend."
You did not just spend time with family relaxing.
You went to your sister-in-law's cottage for a couple of nights? Is it on a lake? Is it a rustic cabin or a second house? Does everyone get along when your families are together? "We drove up late Friday, just knackered. But it was well worth the drive because we spent basically all day Saturday on the lake. In fact, my youngest son had one of those breakthrough moments - like I could see the memory becoming lodged in his brain longterm - after about an hour of trying he got up on waterskis for his first time! About 8 seconds later he went down hard, but then came out of the water pumping his fist and shouting to the heavens. It was a good weekend."
There is no way you just went out with some friends on Saturday night.
Something else was going on there.
Where did you go for dinner? Were they longtime friends? How was the food? "We were going to go to a movie but we ended up just talking at the restaurant for 3 hours instead. You know those conversations that seem to just grow as you're in them? We've known these people for years but we started talking about real life pains never discussed and then some laugh-til-we're-crying moments. My friend told me a story about when he accidentally stole a pack of condoms from the drug store and then chose to go back and confess...at 32 years old! I can't remember the last time I laughed that hard. It was a good weekend."
There was something more going on, and you get to interpret what it was.
As the storyteller you have the privilege of telling us whatever details delighted you most.
So, whether you're recounting your weekend, updating your current life situation to a friend, making small talk, or trying to tell the story of your brand or product: pick out the most delightful details and tell us the best bits.