Here are our top tips for telling a good story or anecdote.
- Take time to think about the question and the story before you start talking.
- Use narrative tenses – past simple, past continuous and past perfect.
- Use adjectives and adverbs to make the story interesting.
- Use sequencing words: first of all, then, after that, later on, finally, in the end …
- Give your story an introduction. Say briefly what your story is about.
- Give the background to your story. Say when and where it took place and what you were doing at that time.
- Say what happened step by step. Use words like so, because and although to connect the actions until you reach the end of the story.
- Keep the action moving!
- Finish your story or anecdote by saying why it is important to you or why you remember it.
- Look at your listeners.
- Take too long telling the story or your listeners will get bored.
- Use a flat or bored voice.
- Look down or look around the room.
Examples of storytelling tasks
- Tell me about a holiday you had.
- Tell me about a difficult journey you had.
- Tell me about a perfect day you’ve had.
- Tell me about a special event in your life.
- Tell me about a birthday you remember.
- Tell me about a time when you lost something important.
- Tell me about a time when you gave someone a surprise.