These free workshops were made possible by Lane Arts Council and the City of Eugene Cultural Services Downtown Program Fund.
More Tips & Tricks
HAVE A CLEAR STRUCTURE
There are many different ways to structure a story, but the three ingredients a story must have are a beginning, middle, and end.
MINE YOUR PERSONAL EXPERIENCES
Look to your life for inspiration when coming up with stories.
ENGAGE YOUR AUDIENCE
So much depends upon the expressiveness of your voice and your ability to convey emotion with your tone.
NARROW THE SCOPE
Many people have a tendency to include every detail and end up inundating their audience with facts that dilute the central story arc. Choose a clear beginning and end to your story, then write the key plot events as bullet points between them. Trust that your audience will be able to follow your story, and don’t overwhelm them with unnecessary backstory or tangential plot points.
HAVE SOME STAKES
Why is what happens in the story important to you?
START IN THE ACTION
Have a great first line that sets up the stakes and grabs attention
KNOW YOUR STORY
Steer clear of meandering endings. Your last line should be clear in your head before you start. You are driving the story, and must know the final destination. Keep your hands on the wheel!
NO FAKE ACCENTS
If your story doesn’t work in your own voice, or that of your people of origin, please consider another story. In our experience, imitating accents from another culture or race rarely works and often offends.
STORIES ARE ABOUT HOW YOU FELT
“It’s really not what transpired that makes a good story,” says Leitman, upending conventional wisdom. “It’s about how you felt about what transpired.” The “plot” of your story is almost irrelevant when it comes to making a connection with your audience. “It’s not a matter of, ‘We won the game.’ It’s, ‘How did you feel when you won? What did you believe was impossible that now suddenly you can do?’” A corollary of this: Stories can be about very small stuff, so long as the emotions involved are big.
KEEP IT SIMPLE
SHARE SOMETHING OF YOURSELF
KEEP YOUR AUDIENCE IN MIND
SHARE SINCERELY FELT EMOTIONS