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Storytelling Tips

  • All stories must have a beginning, a middle, and an end. Know your plot points.
  • Tell your story from your point of view.
  • Know your first line and last line when you step on stage. Knowing what point A and point Z are will help you get through the rest if you get nervous.

Tips From Past Slam Winners and Judges:

“Do your best to look like *you* are enjoying the telling of the story. Enthusiasm is contagious.” -Chris, Storyteller

“A dear friend and stand up comic once told me: ‘the minute you try to impress or look good you will die a humiliating death. Don’t worry about the audience, just connect with your emotional truth and have fun.’” -Marjorie, Storyteller

“Just because I’m making people laugh doesn’t mean I’m telling a good story. Stringing together funny anecdotes with some exposition and calling it a story results in failure/audience boredom.” -Evan, Storyteller

“Establish high stakes as quickly as you can.” -Diana, Storyteller

“Always connect directly with the audience. Acknowledge them! They are human beings.” -SM Shrake, Storyteller

“Stories – the best stories – are about when the joke’s been on us… the times we’ve failed. There isn’t much that’s more entertaining or enriching than stories of failure, regret, and humiliation. And nothing in the world is more exhausting than listening to someone’s good news. So be ugly. Be ugly and dopey and vile. Because when you’re ugly, you’re sincere. And sincerity is what makes everyone want to listen.” -Andrew, Storyteller

“The beginning and the end reunite in a moment where people think, ‘Oh that’s where she/he was going with that!’” -Kate, Storyteller

“What makes a good story:

  1. A good lede. That’s what we call it in print, anyway. The beginning of the story should draw people in right away with something compelling and pungent.
  2. Strong delivery. A sense that the storyteller is comfortable, confident, and that we’re in good hands.
  3. An arc. A feeling that something is building, that we’re going somewhere.
  4. A powerful ending. Maybe something that makes us pause before we clap. Or something so funny, that we erupt with applause.”

-Liz Spikol, writer and former Grand Slam judge

Upcoming Events
  • StorySlam: Windfall
  • Date: August 27, 2019
  • Time: 7:30 PM
  • Venue: CSZ Philadelphia
  • Location: 2030 Sansom Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107