How To Make Any Story Interesting


Today, we’re gonna talk about how you can make any story more interesting. If you can tell your stories well, you’ll find that people will love having you around. It’s also much easier to talk about yourself in attractive or interesting ways. We’ve already covered some aspects of storytelling
in our videos on Scott Harrison and Kevin Hart so what I wanted to show you today isn’t how to tell a good meaty story well but instead, how to get people hooked even
when your story isn’t super interesting by itself. So I picked a well-known YouTuber named Markiplier because he’s a great example of how to make anything more interesting. For those of you that don’t know Markiplier, he got his fame as a Let’s Play YouTuber where he recorded himself playing video games. There are tens of thousands of people trying to do this and Markiplier rose to the top because he can make any given moment seem interesting. The first lesson from watching Markiplier is pulled directly from when he tells stories. Before you tell a good story, bait the hook and get them to bite. Before he tells a story, he uses one to two sentences
to create a sense of I-need-to-hear-this. Listen as he starts this story on the H3 Podcast. The only person I’ve met that I wish death upon in college— Ooh! I wanna know about this person. Now, one of the fastest ways to create a sense of I-need-to-get-out-of-this-conversation-as-soon-as-possible is to bludgeon people with stories they don’t want to hear. So the first thing you want to do when you realize you have a story to share is create a teaser sentence like this one that
gets people eager to hear what you have to say. The story itself isn’t a crazy one; it’s a story many of
us have about someone being a jerk in a group project. If you had just started the story by saying,
“Oh, that reminds me of something that happened to me in college,” it wouldn’t have nearly the same impact. This may seem obvious but pay attention today. And notice how many people start stories by saying something bland like, “Oh, guess what happened to me today?” I’ve even heard people start stories with,
“You probably don’t care about this but…” Why would you want to hear a story that starts that way?
Compare that to Markiplier here. So I went to the hospital last night because I got hit in the eye with a pickle. How could you not want to hear what happened? So start your story by baiting the hook with a
teaser sentence that creates interest and curiosity. The second thing we can model from Markiplier has nothing to do with what you’re saying and everything to do with how you say it. …you know, I’ve run the gambit of the emotions of like,
“Ooh, this is new andexciting!” to “Oh, I missed the old days,”
to “O! you changed Markiplier. How could you do this to us?” I’m not suggesting you have to do it to the extreme that he does; just take what you’re currently doing when telling stories and ramp it up a notch. You’ll notice it’s much easier to hold the attention of a group. Specifically, when you’re talking for an extended period of time, use your full vocal range and change up the speed you speak at. …and I’ll never stop trying new things until I find the one thing that makes me really excited. …and then the next day, that might be gone and I’m on to something new. Nothing crazy, just him using his voice to make
something that would otherwise be boring more fun. That’s why I really like this video because this stuff is so easy for you to do. Here’s another clip of him making people laugh even
though there’s nothing funny about the words alone. Just so the clip makes sense, this is from a charity livestream Mark did where he was trying to put on as many shirts as possible. [Observers talking] It’s getting waaaaaarm. [Observers chuckling] If he just says, “Man, it’s getting warm,” it wouldn’t be nearly as funny. You’ll hear this in the next clip too — this idea of emphasizing one word by holding it out plus saying it slightly louder is a go-to of Markiplier. This may not feel like much because it isn’t much. This is super easy for you to start doing today and you’ll be surprised at how it keeps people happily engaged with your stories. Watch another quick example of Mark making something
more interesting by changing his voice multiple times. Over 17 million people watch this video, over 150,000 people liked it, and it’s just a video of Mark clicking random options and commenting on the outcome. …very clever with your dimensional joke there. Glue! What am I gonna… What? Why? Oh, this is a terrible idea. Now, Markiplier is an entertainer. In his regular life, he doesn’t speak like this all the time and we shouldn’t either. I just want to show you what he does to hold people’s interest and make stuff interesting so you can adapt it and use it when you want to do the same. Pepper vocal variety and vocal emphasis into your stories and you’ll notice people will find you more interesting and fun to listen to. If you don’t believe me, just record yourself telling a monotone story and then record yourself telling a story where
you feel like you’re overacting or overemphasizing; see which one you find more engaging to listen to. Listen to one more clip and notice how Markiplier uses pauses and a variety of voices to make it engaging to listen to. Holy shit. Okay, so I made this video because I wanted to make a creepy video. And just to hammer it at home, scientists at the University of Glasgow’s Institute of Neuroscience and Psychology found that the more monotone you are when you speak,
the more active your listeners’ inner voice will become. So you’ll either lose their attention or they’ll drown you out
with a more interesting inner voice of their own creation. Another thing markiplier does a lot is convey emotion. Charlie talked about this in detail in our video on PewDiePie so rather than repeat those points, I’ll link to
that video now and also at the end of this video. But here’s a great example of Markiplier doing that. This video that’s on screen right now has over four million views and fifty thousand likes and as you can see when there’s no Markiplier involved, it’s a fairly boring video but the top comment of this video is, “I’ve never laughed so hard in my life. Thank you, Markiplier.
Your pain brings me much laughter and joy.” Here’s why. Okay, alright. Here we go. Okay. Checkpoint… [Screams] Okay… [Screams] Okay, alright. Jump on the first one. [Laughs] Ugh… I’m done! Thank you so much for watching.
Never suggest me another game to play ever again. So… okay, take this video… shove it up the creator’s as— Here’s another example and notice how it’s way more gripping because of how much emotion he puts behind his words. Oh, my god. Oh, yeah, irdeadite. Aw, irdeadite was one of the first people to, like, really get into the dark of our Oh, my god. Yeah. I’ve seen so much of this stuff. Ah, they do such good work. The human brain is wired to pay attention to emotions so conveying strong emotions captures attention. Apply a toned-down version of this to your storytelling
and your stories will immediately become more interesting. So how do you convey more emotion when you tell stories? The three main things are your tone of voice,
your facial expressions, and your body language. But good news — you don’t have to worry about trying to be an Oscar winning actor and faking specific facial expressions or body movements; that will only trip you up. The awesome thing about this is that you already know exactly how to act when you’re angry, sad, happy, confused, or any other emotion you want to show. All you have to do to make this happen is think about the emotion you want to convey and make the decision to show it. So it’s not about acting it’s just about allowing yourself to feel emotions as you tell your story and express them. Now, different emotions will create different reactions. Anger, when directed toward someone, often leads to anger but as you just saw, a frustration can actually
create laughter when it’s not directed at you. Another example would be sadness which can create sadness in other people but it can also create a feeling of empathy and closeness. Watch Markiplier get emotional here. Like I said, things like this put things in perspective
for me for how many people are really out there. You can tell that for many people watching, Markiplier’s willingness to show his emotions here made them feel closer and more connected to him. Now I’ll admit, you probably don’t want to do this within the first 5 minutes of meeting someone but I saw an amazing example of this in my improv class a few weeks ago. This guy, Jay, was making up a monologue on the
spot about the time his family dog passed away. He started to choke up as he spoke and got tears in his eyes and when he finished, the teacher who’s a notorious hard-ass gave him a big hug and I immediately felt a lot of respect for him
for being that vulnerable and I liked him more for it. Now that said, more often than not, the emotion you’ll want to create is happiness or excitement which is great news because the easiest
way to do that is just convey happiness and excitement. Watch this last clip and notice how much more engaging it is because of Markiplier emotional reactions in the corner. This is, uh… I wanted… oh, geez. I wanted to have like a sense of professionalism in my videos which I don’t know why I wanted; I didn’t want that at all. I was so nervous. Oh god, I was so nervous. Video Markiplier: …quality on my v-log so that—
Markiplier: What? V? Whoah! For most people, it’s hard not to smile or laugh when
someone is showing that much positive emotion. No matter what your story is about, it will benefit from you putting emotion in it and sharing the emotions you felt as you went through. And that’s it. I found so many more things that make Markiplier likable; I could do a whole another video but just in terms of storytelling, the three best things you can take from him today are to bait the hook before diving in, use your entire range of voice and volume, and convey emotion in your story. If you do all three of those things, you will keep people hooked with even a mildly interesting story. And if you want to know more about storytelling, we have an entire hours worth of material plus a five-day action guide on how to master storytelling inside Charisma University so I’ll link to that here. That’s all for today, if you made it this far, you’re a legend. Thank you so so much for watching and I will see you in the next video.

100 thoughts on “How To Make Any Story Interesting

  1. Markiplier is also so Cancer like mwahhh and we are some emotional ass fuckers LOL. Now I understand why I'm so good at telling stories at work but maybe its because half the people I'm serving are drunk as fuck… Oh… I'm a bartender… I switch tone often to engage guests so my tips go up LOL.

  2. I love this. I'm creating a video for a job application and these tips are gold. Also, it's so much fun to do something like this! Thanks! 😃

  3. You use him as an example but I feel like you need multiple subjects to get your point across. His success is impressive but I'm actually put off by him by his persona because it feels not genuine at all. ;/

  4. When my story isn’t going well quickly end it with “and then I found five dollars!” The more I’m choking the more money I “find”. Everyone always perks up!

  5. Interesting! U mentioned in your video about this guy called Jay who talked about his dog passing. Do you have the link to that presentation?

  6. I never liked Markiplier because of how he exaggerates his voice. I get that kids like him cause he’s annoying af. Still loved the advice given in the video for ideas on how to be charismatic.

  7. Is there a downside to having this type of persona? If you can't pull off the facial expressions or your voice is not appealing when exaggerating anger or excitement, would make you annoying?

  8. His good looks and deep rich voice surely aren't contributors as well… :- ) He said at one point I think that he wanted to be a voice actor. He knows how to talk!

  9. My stories aren't entertaining. So, I learned to just deliver the story as fast as possible. I don't want to make the story better, it's not worth it… but tricking them into the ending is my trick.

  10. When i grow up i want to be a ghost hunter, writer or a person who dig up dinosaur bones (i dont remember what its called i remember what its called on Danish but on english nope and im Danish so that’s why i remember what its called on Danish)

  11. it's weird like, I did this until I became conscious about it and then I didn't wanna use a 'trick' to get people hooked. Now I'm way more boring to listen to

  12. I just want to tell you
    You should change the title to 'tell' instead of 'make'
    Good video but not what I was looking for, a lot of people probably feel the same.

  13. ok, today we are gonna learn how to draw people in to your stories. i leave in the first minute and come back only to say this comment

  14. I've done #2 when speaking…. Buuuuuut, ppl end up thinking I'm on drugs, lol.
    … To be fair, when I see Markilplier do this type of talking, sometimes I think there's something wrong with him too. He's seriously TOO SPAZZY at times.

  15. See, he's not interesting to me. He's obnoxious to me, his deep voice doesn't match him (somehow) and I never could get into the video game stuff. Lol. Still, great video!

  16. Why was Eddie Redmayne used for 'fake reaction', tho? He didn't seem fake in his excited reaction of winning a fucking Oscar lol

  17. You wanna hear somebody tell a story or commentate so very effectively without having the need of face cam for visual expressions? Try SovietWomble's videos on youtube or streams on twitch. He's really good. He keeps people interested at any game he plays even on super complicated and "nerdy" games. As mentioned in this video, the way he commentate/tell story (diction, stresses, tones) is really good and sounds more real and genuine.

  18. How come you sound like you’re talking from a script rather than natural and laid back like you’re just having a drink with us ?

  19. I'm great at teaser sentences but then my story flops and it doesn't live up to the teaser sentence hype. 🙁 Anyone else?

  20. Good advice but as someone who's been acting for a long time, I think you might fundamentally lack understanding of what acting is.

  21. It's hard to tell a interesting story when there's nothing interesting to talk about. And I don't like lying so I just say certain thing how it is.

  22. Oh mi goodness I needed this. Been super monotone most of my life, and doing videos would wonder why people aren't watching the way I expected. Over the past few months I changed it up a bit, brought it a few notches higher like you said, and noticed a vast difference in enjoyment both for the viewer and for myself as editor! 😂 Never tried the hook and bait thing though, and it makes absolute sense. Shall work on it, thanks so much!

  23. When you have social anxiety but talk like this automatically and get everyones attention on the table, notice it later and then get a panic attack…

    Doesnt happen often since I usually dont hang out with a big groupbof people but when it does… hnnnnnnnng T^T

  24. Well, next time I have to explain why I usually don't smoke wax I'll be able to tell it much better.

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