Make Friends Using Your Stories – Episode 183


Make Friends Using Your Stories – Episode 183

Powerful Stories
Copyright: kasto / 123RF Stock Photo

Our goal with our podcast is to create meaningful relationships with our listeners. Powerful, profitable relationships.

People do business with those they know, like and trust. That is the definition of a relationship. The best way to create meaningful relationships is to use engaging content.

One of the best ways to create content that is engaging is to use stories. Tell stories.

Stories reveal who we are and what we value by the pieces of ourselves we reveal within those stories. This is how your listeners get to know and like you. Your stories tell your audience why they should trust you.


What did you reveal about yourself on your podcast this week?

My radio coach taught me that from self-revelation comes friendship. Can you think of a true friend that you know very little about? Friendship becomes stronger the more you share with each other.

How can you use the stories you tell to solidify your brand and strengthen your relationships?

We have discussed storytelling in past episodes. Check out “Essential Elements of Powerful Storytelling” in episode 129, “Can You Tell Stories Like Walt Disney” in episode 130, and “How to Tell Better Podcast Stories” in episode 169. We cover the power of great storytelling, the parts of a great story, and how to structure a story.

Today, I want to teach you about three other areas of storytelling that can help transform your podcast into powerful, engaging entertainment.


  • How can details elicit fantastic imagery in the theater of the mind of your listener?
  • How can the words you use become memorable?
  • How can you create anticipation that will hook your listeners and make them listen to the end?



When you tell stories on your podcast, you reveal things about yourself. Vivid details are critical elements of great storytelling.


  • Details are more believable than generalities.
  • Details reveal specifics about your thoughts, beliefs and character.
  • Details put your listener in the moment helping them envision your story in their mind.
  • How can details elicit fantastic imagery in the theater of the mind of your listener?


My wife and daughter are big fans of the Harry Potter book series. They read all of the books long before the movies hit the theaters.

Have you ever read a book and then seen the movie? The experience isn’t quite the same, is it? My wife and daughter have that issue with Harry Potter.

The movie doesn’t include every part of the book. More importantly, the scenes in the movie didn’t look like the images in their head. They would tell me, “That wasn’t what I thought the room would look like.” My daughter would say, “I didn’t picture the professor like like.”

That is the wonderful thing about audio. Everyone sees their own personal, mental images in their own way. Those differences add to the enjoyment and entertainment of the story. Each listener can enjoy the unspoken details in their own way. The listener is not at the mercy of the interpretation of a movie director.

Coaches often use stories to inspire their team. I’ve done it myself with teams I have coached in hockey, baseball, and lacrosse.

Growing up, I played a few sports. I competed in baseball, ice hockey and bowling. I was a national champion in bowling. That is something no one can ever take from me. It is pretty cool. That is exactly what I told the hockey team I coach as we were headed into the state championship game. Win and you will always be a champion.

My bowling championship came when I was a freshman in high school. I was in a child-adult doubles tournament with my dad. We had won the various stages at the local house, city, district, and state levels. That got us to the national tournament where one team from each state competed.

After three series of the national tournament, which are 3 games each, we were in the lead going into head-to-head competition.

The head-to-head finals put the fifth place team against the fourth place team for one game. The winner of that would play the third place team. That winner would play number two. Finally, we would face that winner in one game for the championship.

We got to the last frame of the final game. It was close the entire time. When the last pins fell, we won by 3 pins. The championship was ours, because we did the little things right. When we knew we could not get all 3 pins in a split, we would get the two. When we didn’t strike, we focused on the spare. Step-by-step we won.

As my players on that high school hockey team sat there before the championship game, I told them that story. They were preparing to face a team who had only lost two games over the past two seasons. One of those games was to our team the night before. Winning a second game in a row against this level of competition was a very challenging task.

That group of boys dominated the game from start to finish by doing the little things right all night long. They won the races to the puck, finished their checks, and didn’t give up when bad passes didn’t connect. When the final buzzer sounded, they became state champions. Once a champion, always a champion.

The details make your stories intriguing and believable.

Tell great stories. Use vivid details. What will you reveal on your podcast this week?


American children’s author Dr. Seuss (Theodor “Ted” Seuss Geisel) was more interested in telling a good story than he was in telling a true story. He often exaggerated. He always used wonderful, colorful words.

The good story approach is even described in his biography at Dr. Seuss and his wife were unable to have children.

“To silence friends who bragged about their own children, Ted liked to boast of the achievements of their imaginary daughter, Chrysanthemum-Pearl. … He included her on Christmas cards, along with Norval, Wally, Wickersham, Miggles, Boo-Boo, Thnud, and other purely fictional children. For a photograph used on one year’s Christmas card, Geisel even invited in half a dozen neighborhood kids to pose as his and Helen’s children. The card reads, ‘All of us over at Our House / Wish all of you over at / Your House / A very Merry Christmas,’ and is signed ‘Helen and Ted Geisel and the kiddies.'”

Part of the magic that was Seuss was created by the words he used. Oftentimes, he used words he created himself, like whisper-ma-phone, fiffer-feffer-feff, and schloppity-schlopp. His words were memorable and unique. His words have sounds that catch your attention.

If you want to catch the attention of your audience, use great words like Dr. Seuss. You don’t need to create your own vocabulary. Simply use words that stir emotion. Your words do not need to be long, flamboyant words. They simply need to be emotional.

Betraying. Jubilant. Downtrodden. Passionate. Unmovable. Use words that paint pictures.

Great storytellers use delightful details created by fabulous words.

Use delightful details.

“It was a muggy, hot lunchtime. We had ducked into the cool, dark shade of the woods where the sun was barely visible through the dense leaves. My eyes hadn’t yet adjusted to the leave-covered path when I lost my footing near the edge of an embankment. I ended up landing on my hip, a fall that was sure to leave a strawberry, rolling head-over-feet down the fairly steep, 10-foot drop where I promptly landed on my butt in the muddy mess below. My legs were completely covered in mud as if I had been rolling in it for hours.”

With the delightful details of that story, you can almost feel yourself in the woods. You can see the muddy mess in your mind. You can smell the thick, wooded area. Details help your listener experience the story rather than just hearing it.

Capture the attention of your listener by putting your listener in the moment. Always include delightful details in your story. Use fabulous words that paint pictures. Grab attention like Dr. Seuss.


Anticipation is a key feature to storytelling. Your story should build just like a good plot builds in a movie. You need to make your audience anticipate the content that is on the way.

Remember when you were planning a vacation? The fantastic anticipation for the trip is almost as pleasurable as the trip itself. You can’t wait for the trip to arrive.

You want your listener to feel the same way about your content. When they can’t wait for the story to arrive, you have created some great content.

Teasing is the art of creating anticipation for your audience to entice them to stick around for the payoff to your setup. It is a critical element of your show. Teasing helps create momentum for your podcast.

When you promote parts of the show that are coming up, you must creatively tease your audience. You must give them a reason to stick around. It isn’t enough to simply say, “A great story about this weekend is coming up.” Few will stick around for the payoff. Tease. Create anticipation. Instead, use something like, “You’re never gonna believe what I found in the attic this past weekend.”

Television news does a wonderful job at teasing. Create anticipation. Tease me.

Tell stories including these three essential elements.

  • Use details to elicit fantastic imagery in the theater of the mind of your listener.
  • Use memorable words
  • Use stories to create anticipation that will hook your listeners and make them listen to the end


Do you need help with your podcast? E-mail me any time at Let’s see what we can do.

You can find my podcast and other tools to help you create great content at

Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment.

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