Photo by Dmitry Ratushny/Unsplash Storytelling: The Secret of What To Talk About on a Date image

If you don’t know what to talk about on a date, you need to improve your storytelling game! We’ll help you learn how to tell a better story.

Picture this: you’re out on a first date with someone and things are going well. You’ve discussed your hobbies and firmly marked out some common ground. Then you get on the subject of traveling. Maybe your date asks you about your favorite vacation.

You have a great travel story you want to tell but you’re worried you might bungle it. Practice your technique with these handy tips for telling a great story. Check out even more advice on this topic here.

Know your audience

Part of telling good stories is simply knowing when the right moment for a certain story has arrived, and when it’s better to hold off. For our purposes, we’re talking about telling stories during a date, so in this case your audience is one person, a potential romantic interest, who you may not know very well. This is pretty high stakes, audience-wise, and it immediately means there are probably several stories you should consider not telling. In general try to think of stories where something truly remarkable happened, and ideally one where events transpired to cast you in a positive light.

Be confident when you talk

Storytelling requires the presupposition that your story is worth your audience’s time. If you begin to question that during the telling, it’s possible for you to lose confidence and the story can fall apart. If your story meets the criteria from suggestion 1, it probably wouldn’t hurt to try and pick one you’ve told before with good results.

Keep it interactive on a date

Catering to the needs of the audience is an important aspect of storytelling. As we’ve discussed in this situation you have an audience of one, which is why it’s more than okay to make your tale interactive. Here’s an example: you start the story out with a setting. If it’s somewhat irregular (another country, a cruise ship, a scenic destination), you might ask your date if they have ever been there. Interjecting questions with short answers will stop you from derailing the story completely while also making our solo audience member feel like they’re coming along for the journey.

Make sure your story pays off

Just as jokes need a punchline, you want your piece to have a payoff, or a culminating moment. These moments are the reward for your audience. Good stories will be engaging and entertaining throughout, but if you aren’t able to bring it to a peak, it can be alienating for the audience. In general, the longer your story, the bigger the payoff should be.