People assume this is a mistake in storytelling. But it’s an asset.

Movie theater


I know you know this!

Guess the movie based on my short story version:

movie theater

This teenager knows this guy. The guy shows the teenager a thing. Then some other guys have a feeling about this guy, so the teen gets in the thing and something weird happens. Then the teen meets some people he knows but they don’t know he knows them. The guy (who’s the same but also different) tells the teen that he has to do some stuff – before he gets back in the thing – otherwise some other things will happen that will be bad!!!!

He does the stuff and everything turns out ok. Then he goes back to the original guy in the thing and the guy is also ok.

Everyone wins! Well, except for Biff.

Did you guess?????

That’s right – it was BACK TO THE FUTURE!!!!

Ok, I’m being glib. But here’s my point:


Obviously, you’re not telling stories like that one above – you’re not an idiot. But you still might be missing details that would otherwise really bring your story to life.

In your stories, don’t leave anything vague.

For example:

She stood there, holding a drink and smirking.

What drink?

She stood there, holding a glass of red wine and smirking.

…is very different from:

She stood there, holding a glass of chocolate milk and smirking.

See how clarifying that one detail brings your story to life?

Let’s try another:

He pulled up in his car, Drake’s ‘Started From The Bottom’ blaring out through the open windows.

…tells us one thing about this guy.

He pulled up in his car, the Frozen soundtrack blaring out through the open windows.

…tells us another.

Whenever you’re putting together a story, make sure you get specific about the details. It draws us in and makes it real for us. And it tells us so much more about what’s happening.


“Telling a story? Get specific with the details! WHICH drink was it? WHAT music were they listening to?”


Now your turn. In the comments below, tell me something about your day so far – and add a specific detail.

Thanks so much for reading! If you know someone who tells stories in their blogs or onstage, you can share this tip with them by clicking one of the round buttons below, clicking HERE to share on Facebook, or HERE to share on Twitter.

And if you’d like some tailored help with figuring out how best to tell your true stories – I’d LOVE that. And so might you – a client just emailed me saying, “Every session with you makes me want to book 5 more sessions! You pull stories out of the depths of the recesses of my mind, which somehow end up being totally on brand for me.” Want some of that magic in your business or keynote?
Book in a no-cost, no-obligation free call, here:

You rule!

xx (Yes Yes) Marsha


PS want to know my best-ever client secret – and get even more advice, tips, plus stories that I won’t put on the internet? Come and join the Yes Yes Family – it’s free! Just pop your details in below:

Photo credit: Jake Hill from the amazing


  • Wendy

    Reply Reply July 8, 2017

    Ya but. . . ya but. . . I knew the movie. Self professed, not a movie watcher, and I guessed the movie. So, apparently you do idiotic writing really well. :)

    The flash of light from the kitchen grabbed my attention away from “Yes Yes Marsha”. I leaned back in my chair so I could see into the kitchen.

    Meeka, her gray fur gleaming in the sunshine, hoped over the dish rack, stepped around the sink and looked my way. She jumped down from the counter.

    (Yeah, I need to move the cat grass off the kitchen counter.)

    • Marsha (Yes Yes Marsha)

      Ha – I included Biff so you WOULD get it!

      Love your descriptions. Welcome to the Yes Yes Family! :)


  • Wendy

    Reply Reply July 8, 2017

    And of course, that should be hopped. Any lessons on editing!

  • Anne Gage

    Reply Reply July 20, 2017

    I was surprised that the thoroughbred hadn’t spooked. In fact, he was quite calm. More so than his owner. She flinched at each flash of lightning.

    I’d only be teaching the lesson for a few minutes before the indoor riding arena got darker. There’d been a grumble or two of thunder. And then my voice was drowned out by the torrential downpour of rain slamming against the metal roof. As if it wanted to break in and leave not a single thing untouched and dry.

  • Sheri Bambrough

    Reply Reply August 14, 2017

    Leafy green treetops edged the bottom of the eye-squinting baby blue pain of glass at the end of the room. She pondered closing the chocolate brown drapes as she felt the brightness grow and pierce her eyes.

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