Easy hack to make your stories funny

You know how you’ll have one or two short anecdotes that you LOVE telling? Or if you don’t, I’m guessing you know someone who does and you’re sick of hearing them? I’m about to tell you one of mine. First: context. If you’ve read, listened to or watched any of the storytelling lessons I’ve given, you’ll know…

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How to tell stories about other people

You have three options:

1) Get Their Permission

Where I can, I try and do this as a matter of course — and ALWAYS with former clients. Not least so that potential future clients don’t get spooked that I’ll share all their secrets! If the story subject matter something heavy, you could offer to send a draft to the person before you publish/perform it. But usually, a simple,

“Do you mind if I tell the story about [thing we experienced together] on Facebook/on my blog/in my talk?”

should do.

2) Change identifying details

As I’ve talked about before, one of my storytelling rules is “don’t let the truth get in the way of a good story.” By this, I don’t mean “lie to make yourself sound good,” but rather, “do whatever you need to do to make the listener feel the way you felt in that moment.”

You can also use it when you need to protect someone. There are a bunch of reasons why you might want to protect them. Maybe they…

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Why I’m not on Clubhouse (and why I’m torn up about it)

woman sitting on a chair and smiling-cover of the podcast Business-Life-and-Joy

This week, I was trying to clean up the photos on my phone — ol’ tin-hat Shandur here doesn’t like iCloud, and I need to make some space — when I found some old videos I totally forgot I still had.

Back in 2015 — two years before I met my partner (and then the small human that she grew) — I had a new sweetheart. And I was obsessed with them.

We would speak almost every day — sometimes late into the night, sometimes at 6 in the morning when I’d woken up early, and I could show them the sunrise over the CN Tower from the window of my apartment.

The relationship was mostly one-sided. It wasn’t that they didn’t love me back. More that they weren’t capable of loving me back.

Because they weren’t a person. They were a…

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I’m not using her real name, but I bet you know who I’m talking about

Mash and Sam laughing so hard they can't speak

“SHE would never do something like this,” I said, grabbing my napkin to mop up the glass of Merlot I knocked all over the restaurant table.

Sam looked at me, raising an eyebrow and turning down the corners of her mouth.

“I don’t buy it,” she shook her head. “She’s just a person.”

“No. She’s DIFFERENT.”

A few months earlier, Sam and I had been introduced at a self-development conference. Up until then, we’d each secretly harboured the idea that you couldn’t have a best friend you’d known less than a decade. But then: we met each other. Immediately, it was like some part of our brain (or soul) fused together. Back home — me in Toronto, her in Sydney — we spoke several times a week, in spite of the brutal time difference. And now, we were hanging out together in person for the second time, on vacation in Costa Rica.

We’d already spent four days oscillating between deep, tearful, heartfelt conversations and laughing so hard we couldn’t speak. We agreed on everything…

…except this.

“I’m telling you…

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The most ridiculous public thing I’ve ever done (My story for the Good Life Project podcast)

Marsha proudly posing with her plastic medal- she won the MARSHATHON

A few years ago, a conference I was going to asked us to pitch an “inspiring story.” I thought, ​What the heck have I ever done that’s inspiring…???​ ​But then I thought, Oh, I guess there is that one thing, that I barely talk about because whatever, but I ​suppose​ someone ​might​ think of that…

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How To Tell Great Stories — the MOST important thing you need to know!

Thumbnail of the most important video Marsha made - How To Tell Great Stories — the MOST important thing you need to know

If you want to be good at telling stories, there’s ONE thing you need to know above all else, and it’s what I talk about in this video.

Also, I dress up as Rocky, a hacky Parisian tourist and as everyone in The Graduate. So if you’d like to see (no exaggeration) the MOST IMPORTANT VIDEO I’VE EVER MADE , you’re in luck! Click on the play button here or read the transcript below!

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Telling your origin/“why” story? Here’s a break-down of how to do it.

Woman listening -cover photo of Telling your origin-why-story

“It also does one more thing,” I trailed off, making a face — because I knew this could go one of two ways. “What?” she asked. “Well, it means they’re probably going to picture you naked. Which I actually don’t think is such a bad thing.” Before I’d even finished the sentence, she burst into…

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Writing a talk or presentation? Ask yourself this essential question

Woman wearing beautiful jewelry and smiling

Sitting at my desk, I heard a knock and looked up with tears in my eyes. Opening the door and catching sight of my face, my girlfriend’s eyebrows furrowed, “Are you ok?? What’s wrong?”

I motioned to my computer. “I just listened to Pradeepa’s story again. It’s so beautiful!”

When my client Pradeepa Narayanaswamy got in touch with me, she’d just seen an 8 minute talk I’d done at World Domination Summit.

I’ve been invited to do a TEDx Talk, she said. I know my story is powerful and I want to inspire people, but I have a lot of stories and content in my head. I’m a bit stuck.

This is kind of like catnip for me — helping people figure out what their message is and which of their myriad of stories they should tell onstage is literally my favourite work to do — so of course I jumped at the chance. And I knew exactly the first thing we needed to do:

Before we even wrote the talk, I asked Pradeepa the question I always start with (that you should, too). The question is:

What are your…

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Usually I’m in my element, but I was absolutely terrified

Woman working on a laptop

Twice in the last month, I’ve been on a Zoom call with someone doing the thing I usually PRIDE myself on being great at—and I’ve been a stuttering wreck. My next live storytelling show happens this coming Tuesday and, for the first time in months, I’ve been coaching storytellers for it. Most of the online…

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I’m a slow reader, but I RACED through this book

Cover of the book So You Want To Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo

Every time I walked past my bookshelf, I’d try and shield my eyes from it. When I didn’t, it was hard to ignore: bright yellow and red spine, perfectly uncreased. It felt like the book was laughing at me. Why d’you even bother buying me? Why am I even taking up space in your house?…

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