Three ways to collect stories:

  1. Homework for life - write a storyworthy moment - a one sentence summary or description of something storyworthy from the day.
  2. First, best, last, worst - Use a prompt (ex: car) and make note of the first car, best car, last car and worst car
  3. Dream at the tip of your pen - take a piece of paper and pen and let your thoughts flow. Write down as your mind jumps from one thought to another.

On homework for life, you fill a sheet with memories. Memories also make your life richer and fuller.

Every story should have a five second moment. What are storyworthy moments? Moments when you felt grateful. Moments when you shifted opinion on a subject. Moments when your heart breaks into joy. They are the five second moments which leaves an impact or an emotion on you. Every story should also pass dinner test - don't say something as a story what you wan't say at a dinner table.

Where to begin a story? Begin at the opposite of end. Begin close to the end.

Always tell a real story. This way, you don't need to memorize the story word to word. Memorize the first few sentences to begin strong. Memorize the last few sentences to end strong. Memorize the scenes.

Don't lie in your story. Though you can lie to compress time or to make omissions (to avoid details irrelavant to the five second moment of the story) or to make assumptions for giving the audience a clear picture (ex: saying the bird was perched on oak tree instead of saying a a bird was perched on the tree)

Stakes keep a story moving forward. It keeps the audience at the edge of the seat. There are five ways to add stakes in a story:

Give every thing a location - a place. This will help the audience visualize rather than thinking abstractly. For example, when you say my grandma is an old woman and i can see my grandma bending over the garden with her age reflecting on her, the latter one with location helps the audience visualize better.

Stories need not always have humor and if a story has only humor, then it is not a story - it is a stand-up comedy. Humor keeps the audience engaged, can increase the engagement of the audience and can be used to make a critical point. Humor comes from surprises. A surprise can be made by making a setup and a punchline or making two things which don't go together to go together.

Don't practice in front of mirrors. Because when you are speaking at the stage, you will not be seeing you. You will be seeing the audience.

Try saying the story in present tense.

Use but, therefore instead of and - they lead a story to connectivity and keep the story moving forward.