This post focuses on understanding the purpose and components of a story — really the secret sauce. Without these, stories often go on and on and you run the risk of boring people to death. You really don’t want that! So, enjoy!

Stories really serve three purposes, whether you’re using them in a speech or speaking to a friend.

One, they connect us as human beings. Wouldn’t you say that’s true? I’m over here being human and you’re over there being human, but we have this in common. I’m going to share something about my experience with you.

Two, we share our values through our stories – we tell who we are. This gives people an idea about who we are and again creates a connection. You’re sharing something about yourself with someone else – something you care about.

Three, you’re sending some sort of ultimate message through your story. Call it the moral of the story. The thing you want me to walk away with.

These are really the three purposes behind any story.

The components of a story, on the other hand, include:
• One, where the story takes place – a description of your environment. Where are you?
• Two, your characters. Who are they? Describe them in detail.
• Three, the action – what actually happens?
• Four, the resolution – how it all ends.
• Five, your message – your moral of the story.

Throughout the whole story, you create an emotional arc. Every good story has one. This arc creates the connection with tears, and smiles, and laughter. This is how we (your listeners) stay engaged.

So, remember the next time you tell a story to incorporate all of these things. Look at what your purpose is for telling the story, and just have fun with it. Be yourself. If you incorporate these, you’ll have a good time and ensure your listeners do too!