Minisode Monday #78 | Harnessing Emotions for Powerful Storytelling

Welcome to Minisode Monday, where we kick off the week with something quick and actionable — to make you more magnetic and effective — that you can implement right away.

Marsha Shandur of Yes Yes Marsha rejoins us (check out her full episode here) with ways we can harness emotions for powerful storytelling — and what to leave out for better effect.

Let’s get to it!

The Cheat Sheet:

  • Telling a good story well literally floods your listener’s brain with dopamine (which helps with information processing) and oxytocin (which makes them trust you more).
  • Contrary to popular belief, it’s not usually the addition of too many details that ruins good storytelling; it’s not including enough of the right details.
  • What are the right details? How living through the story made you feel — the emotions the experience generated. As we share the story with others, tuning them in to these emotions allows them to better relate.
  • Beginning a story with an action sequence (as Marsha demonstrates) places an information gap that helps build tension and keeps people paying attention.
  • Internal monologue describing how events made us feel and naming the emotions experienced keep the listener hooked. Pinpointing where in the body we felt these emotions adds a visceral element that makes the story even more relatable.
  • No spoilers — as with our favorite television shows, we want tension to build without the ending being given away.
  • This week, practice telling your friends short true stories in which you include how you felt when you were living them.
  • Make sure to check out Marsha’s page for AoC listeners with an exercise and extra help by which you can learn to harness emotions for powerful storytelling! Find it here.
  • Download episode worksheet here.
  • To learn more about social dynamics and productivity hacks, take the Art of Charm Challenge by clicking here, or text AOC to 38470.
  • Also be sure to check out our Social Capital Intensive here!
  • Let us know about how you put today’s Minisode Monday into practice! Tweet with @TheArtofCharm in your response or write to Jordan directly: [email protected] (he actually reads everything)!


(Download Episode Here)

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Jordan Harbinger - author of 952 posts on The Art of Charm

Jordan Harbinger has spent several years abroad in Europe and the developing world, including South America, Eastern Europe, and the Middle East, and speaks several languages. He has also worked for various governments and NGOs overseas, traveled through war zones, and been kidnapped -- twice. He’ll tell you the only reason he’s still alive and kicking is because of his ability to talk his way into (and out of) just about any type of situation. Here at The Art of Charm, Jordan shares that experience, and the system borne as a result, with students and clients.


in Minisode Monday, Podcast