Thread: Vision's Story Telling Theory
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01-22-2007, 10:50 PM #1Certified Live Training Graduate Lounge Member
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- Dec 2005
This was originally intended for an OAP but I don't think it's going to happen... so I figured I wouldn't hold it back from everyone.
Vision's Story Telling Theory
Storytelling is a great skill to have. It's one of the best possible things you can do to keep up a conversation. If you already have something to say, you can think about all of the other things going on in an interaction instead of tripping over your words and thoughts while trying to maintain a conversation. I currently keep a long list of stories in my head that I can pull out at any time to get into a conversation. You can always expand on the story as well or make it shorter if you need more or less time to talk.
Another great thing about telling stories is that you can be original. When I talk to most people, they have no idea what to say. If I let other people control the flow of conversations, it's the same thing every single time. "What college did you go to?" "What business are you in?" "How many siblings do you have?" With storytelling, you can ensure having something new and original to tell them.
I had, for a long time, a really hard time making up stories for myself. I didn't really know what went into a good story for attraction or comfort or really just about anything. So, I did a lot of research, read a lot of books, talked to people who tell stories for a living and this is what I've come up with...
A story can be broken into four different areas:
In the Moment Information
Now, you can have mixes of these and you can have stories that don't have all or most of the components but let's break them down into their theoretical areas so that they can be better understood and identified.
A segue is a smooth transition without interruption. The segue is a major sticking point for a lot of new guys in the community. Most people don't know it's a sticking point and just don't know what's wrong and why their sets stall at the end of routines. The reason is because they don't segue into the next story.
I know that some people don't think it's very important to have a smooth transition into whatever you're going into. And to a certain extent, it's not. If it comes between standing there with nothing to say because you don't know how to transition and going into something new without any transition, it's much better to just get into your next piece of material. You can also look really try hard if you're throwing a bunch of "anyways" before your stories when you're in attraction. You want it to look like it just came to you or that there was some association to it and not like you are trying to keep the conversation going.
However, I've found that segueing into a new topic is by far the best way to make it seem like whoever you're talking to is having a real life conversation with you. The only times I've gotten called out on running something that seems contrived was by my routine or story being too polished and not transitioning properly. That also doesn't mean that you need some wild and amazing transition. You don't want people to know you're transitioning. It should look like a normal and natural conversation.
If you really want to see some good, smooth transitions and ways to lead into material without a transition, watch Dane Cook, Dave Chappell or some other really famous comedian. They're masters of making routines and segues look really natural and on the spot. Even though they've probably done their routines hundreds of times, it looks like they're doing it the first time when they're on stage.
The segue to the story can contain two different parts:
Rooting Information - This is the Why. Why are you telling this story right now? What happened that made you need to tell this story? This can be verbal and it can also be non-verbal. Verbally, you might say something like, "My friends were just talking and," "I just got off the phone with my friend and," "That reminds me," Anyway," "Oh my god!" "That's funny because"
Non-verbally, you'd make an expression on your face like you just thought of something. Watch those really hyper ADD girls at the club for these ones. You'll see them segue into a new topic when their eyes widen and they get more expressive. Play with it and find out what's most natural for you.
Hook Question - This is typically used to get interest from the audience. If one or two people aren't paying attention to you, you can always tap them on the shoulder and repeat the hook question to get more attention.
As far as the hook question goes, I've found that it's important to have some type of relevance to your story. Some people would disagree and say that it's just there to grab attention but I've only had bad experiences with trying to do that. It could be relevant to the end, to the middle or to the beginning depending on how you want to set it up.
The hook question needs to make them think, "What is he going to say next?" The further on you are in the interaction, the less impact you need to have with your hook question.
The background information is what leads to where you are right now in the story. It's a long period of time summarized into a few sentences. The background information creates the setting for where everything is taking place. This is also where you can describe characters or sights, sounds and smells.
I've seen some stories have nothing but background information in them. And, that's okay for really short stories and some attraction stories.
Examples of background information:
"So, we got to this cowboy bar. It had a real thick smell of cow shit in the air and there were pickup trucks lining the street. A plaid shirt wearing redneck girl greeted us at the front door."
"We only knew each other for about a week. I mean, she was a really cool girl and all but she seemed a little crazy. Then, it was a Monday at about 2 o'clock in the afternoon, she gave me a call..."
In the Moment Information:
In the moment information is usually the most interesting of the information. It's where you play out the story. It's when you're in the scene, acting like the characters and get whoever you're talking to into the story and feel like they're there with you. The in the moment information can be very powerful.
This is where something different than what normally happens happened. Maybe you decided to do something different than normal. Maybe something different happened to you when you were in a normal situation. Maybe a new experience that you had gave you a bunch of different emotions. When you go skydiving the first time, it's a story to tell. When you go skydiving the 23rd time and nothing out of the ordinary happens, there's no reason to tell it.
In the moment information is where you actually act out the scene. You become the different characters and act and talk like them. This is usually where the dialog is as well. This can also just be you in the scene making it more of a real story so that whoever you are talking to can relate to it and sympathize with your situation.
Examples of In the Moment Information:
She said, "Are you a devil worshipper?" And I was like, "We're going down aren't we?"
I walked in front of the car and took my baton and smashed out one of his front headlights. I walked up to where his window was, and again I'm not saying that this is right or anything... but I smashed out his window. He looked like he was scared out of his mind. I stared at him straight in the eyes and after like 10 seconds of staring, I said, "Well, what you waiting for? Get out of here!"
I describe these two parts of the story like they're black and white. But, really, they're more fluid. The difference between in the moment and background information isn't always really cut and dry. Just like the movement from A3 to C1 isn't linear, it's more fluid. The movement from background information into in the moment information should be fluid. You might have elements of both parts at any time in your story. That's very natural and should be expected. I use it more as a guideline to building a successful story than a solid picture of what exactly needs to happen.
This is just wrapping up the story and letting everyone know that it's over. Sometimes, you don't get to this because you're using multiple thread theory or someone else will associate something from you story to a story of theirs and tell one of their stories. But, don't count on either one happening. Have a conclusion so if for some reason you run into the situation where you don't have a thread to go to after this(maybe you already told the story that you normally tell after this), you can go and end the thread right there and everyone won't be standing there staring at each other in an awkward silence.
The conclusion comes right after the story resolves itself. And, once again, if you're using multiple thread theory, you obviously might not want to have the story resolve. If you're in a phase where you're trying to get them to ground their reality to yours or something and you don't resolve your story, they'll be too preoccupied trying to figure out what happened in your story to share what's going on with themselves.
You also don't always have to have the same conclusion to your stories. Depending on where I'm trying to go with my conversation depends on what type of a conclusion I'm going to use in my story. I might be trying to segue myself into a different story that I have lined up in case I know I need to do most of the talking. I might be trying to get her to share some information depending on what phase I am in the pickup.
The conclusion can be a punch line:
"She could have brought a grappling hook and... shimmied her way up my balcony."
"Lesson learned... don't bring food out around fat girls."
The conclusion could be a line wrapping up the conversation:
"I'll never chew gum from a club again."
The conclusion could be a question to get them to share their experiences:
"So, what was your most embarrassing moment?"
You need to check in during your stories. The only way that you'll keep your audience interested in what you're saying is by checking in with them throughout your story. You're not a television. They shouldn't feel like they're watching a comedy skit. They should feel like they're engaged in a conversation with you.
A general rule for attraction is that you need to be talking 90% of the time and the other people need to talk 10% of the time. And while most people have a problem keeping up the 90%, there's a certain point where people are really on top of a story stack and will end up completely dominating the conversation. You need to have that other 10% of them talking when you're telling a story. If you don't, you'll get a bunch of questions about why you're telling the story, you'll get people that get distracted, and others will feel like you're not having a conversation and that you're just performing for them.
The best way that I've found to incorporate this is just to have points in your story where you have it built in. These can range from being a question about the story to check to see if they're listen to just saying something that gets them to respond to you. These parts also invite small amounts of feedback into the story. You can calibrate where you need to go to next depending on their reaction to you checking in with them.
Examples of Checking In:
"This is the kicker... guess what she made for dinner."
"Have you ever had that happen before?"
"Do you know what I mean?"
What Personality Traits are You Conveying from This?
Everything that you do in the story is conveying your personality in some way. You need to look at the stories that you have and figure out if it's conveying what you want to be conveying. If you don't want people to think you're an idiot, don't tell stories where you act like an idiot in them. If you don't want girls to think you're a player, don't tell stories where you sleep with girls and leave them. It seems like a pretty simple concept but I get the same type of stories over and over again from students who think a story where they act like an idiot is a great story to tell.
You need to convey the right personality traits. You need to convey the attraction switches in a way that isn't bragging. You shouldn't be telling stories about how your friends are sleazy weirdoes. You shouldn't be telling stories about how you went to a speed dating event to meet women. You shouldn't be telling stories about how you freaked out and did something crazy and stupid. Everything you do in your stories tells a little bit about your personality. So, it is in your best interest to make sure that what you do in your stories is in line with being a high value person. Otherwise, you're going to have congruence problems when you try to demonstrate higher value.
Example of a Story
I'm going to show how everything is broken down in a story in this section. Remember, again, that when I'm actually telling this story, it's a lot more fluid and less black and white. The differences in each element are many times more based on what I'm doing with my body which obviously can't be demonstrated through writing.
That's funny. I had something pretty crazy happen to me recently too. If you went on a first date, would you expect rose peddles and romantic music?
I met this girl in a club a couple weeks ago. We had a pretty good conversation. We talked for about an hour and I ended up getting her number. I called her a couple days later.
In the Moment
She's like, "Hey, why don't you come over to my place for dinner?"
And I'm thinking like pizza with a bunch of friends or something.
Well, I end up getting over there. She lived in one of those dorm like houses down on University. Do you know where I'm talking about?
In the Moment
So, I got there and knocked on the door. She opens it up and it's like pitch black inside.
She's like, "Hey! Come on in!"
I'm like, "Ehh... okay."
I get in there... and there's candle lights all over the place. She was playing romantic music. I got up to the dinner table and she had rose peddles laid out all over it. And this is the kicker... guess what she made for dinner.
She cooked a turkey! No shit. Not like turkey slices. She cooked an entire turkey.
In the Moment
Now, I'm sitting here thinking, "This girl is out of her mind. But, I'm already here. I might as well eat. It would be really rude for me just to walk out of this place right now."
And it was really good. We had stuffing, mashed potatoes. It was like Thanksgiving all over again. It was a really good meal. Just not something that I'd want on a first date. After we got done, I went and sat down on her couch.
In the moment
She comes over and sits down next to me. And scoots up close to me. And gives me these really innocent eyes.
I stood up and I was like, "I'm sorry. Everything was really great. Dinner was awesome. I've just got to go. I'm sorry."
I mean, imagine if I would have done something with this girl. She would have shown up at my place, picked my lock and shown up with lingerie on. She would have brought a grappling hook and shimmied her way up my balcony.
I'm just not ready to deal with that. Have you ever had a stalker before?
Different Types of Stories
Attraction stories are usually shorter. When you're in the attraction phase of a pickup, you want to keep your stories between thirty seconds and a minute and a half at the very longest.
Neg stories are there to subtly, or not so subtly disqualify yourself to a girl. They are usually fairly short. I don't have any that are longer than 45 seconds. The categories could range from telling a story about how you don't date girls like her, talking about how you have a girlfriend or anything else that would disqualify you that you could recover from.
Demonstration of Higher Value Stories
DHV stories are obviously there to demonstrate high value. Most of the DHV stories that I use, I focus a lot on relating to girls who are of high value. As shown by my example story, I like to talk a lot about how girls act overly interested in me or act like stalkers. It's great to build a high value commonality with women who constantly have stalkers and guys acting overly interested in them.
Another way to tell DHV stories is the typical way of telling a DHV story where the point of your story is something completely different than your DHVs but you mention them because it's relevant in explaining how things happen in the story.
Emotional stories are there to give yourself emotional relevance to the girl. They make you interesting, fun and intriguing. They're purpose is to take her through an emotional journey and get her interested in talking to you longer. Examples of these stories are the bad ass kid story and different types of role playing stories.
The point of many comfort stories is to convey lots of personality, build commonalities, build comfort, trust and to ground your realities together. You want to build a connection and strengthen the chemistry that is already there between the two of you. You need to show that you're a human being and not some untouchable, amazing superhuman who has lots of value and no flaws. You need to be attainable and compatible.
There are two good ways to convey vulnerabilities that I've found effective. The first way is to talk about a vulnerability that you used to have that you've gotten over. I usually tell a story about how I was afraid of heights, read a book one day that told me if I wanted to get rid of my fears that I have to face them head on and then I went skydiving. Now, I'm no longer afraid of heights.
You never want to bring out a vulnerability that makes you look like an idiot. You want vulnerabilities that could happen to anyone and aren't conveying that you're a total loser, you're really a freak or anything else that is really bad. You also want to tell these stories like you didn't really want to tell her the story but it just happened to be what you're talking about and you trust her enough to tell it. I usually tell a story about something that was embarrassing that happened to me.
Mystery came out with a concept called the grounding routine. The purpose of your grounding stories is to get the girl you're talking to into your world. It's like a mini story of your life. This story goes from how you got to where you are today, what you're doing right now and where you're going in the future. If you'd like to read more about Mystery's Grounding Routine, you can find it on the Mystery Forum.
One of the things that helped me find success before I was introduced to the Mystery Method was knowing a little bit about a lot of different topics. I traveled, adventured out, and did everything. And because of that, I could talk to anyone about almost anything. When you go outside of your normal, everyday routine and venture into different areas of life, you'll go into new and different worlds.
Just about every field of work and area of hobby has it's own language. You can only understand that if you've gone into that world. And fortunately, you just have to do it one time. If you go SCUBA diving one time, you'll learn very important terminology that other people who dive will immediately recognize and relate with you on a totally different level than before.
When you're building comfort, if you've gone out and done a lot of different hobbies and activities, you'll be able to connect with people and show them that the two of you share in the same world very easily.
Emotional Stimulation Stories
These are very similar to the emotional stories in attraction except they can be longer and go through a wider range of emotions. Mystery once told me that a good performer doesn't just make his audience laugh; he makes them happy, sad, excited, scared, nervous, relieved and many other emotions. I believe this is just as effective in building a bond with a woman as it is in capturing an audience. It doesn't matter what a woman thinks of you; it matters how she feels about you.
This can be anything. Typically, you'll be talking about specific events where something out of the ordinary happened that took you through different emotions. You'll want to be able to tell the story well enough that your target feels like she is in the story experiencing the event as you go through it.
Seduction stories are anything to make the S stages go faster. These include stories that create sexual arousal and stories that will eliminate LMR. You don't necessarily have to do these during the S phases. They just affect the S phases to make them smoother.
I don't specifically use any LMR reducing stories. I do know that several top PUAs use them though. The purpose of these stories is to convince her subconscious mind that you're not going to just have sex with her and leave her. Examples of this are Style's 100% Perfect Girl story or Riker's 3 Rules.
These are actually some of my favorites. I get to talk about having sex with other girls and then talk about having sex with her. This will also tell you a lot about how you're doing in the pickup process as well as how sexual of a person she is.
You need to get really comfortable talking about sex. The more comfortable you are talking about sex, the more comfortable she will be talking to you about sex. If you're nervous, she won't want to talk about it. That's all there is to it.
There are a lot of different ways to get into sexual conversation. One of the easiest ones that I have found is by using the question game. You just play the question game and ask semi sexual questions and see if she follows in pursuit. If she does, great. Usually, I'll associate whatever we talk about in the question game to different sexual topics. My favorite sexual themes are talking about how most people are at having sex, talking about how women liked to be touched, crazy sexual experiences or places and talking about both of our favorite positions and techniques.
Making Your Stories Sound Like They Were Made Up on the Spot
A huge problem that a lot of people have is how polished their stories are. When they first tell the story, it's kind of choppy and they get away with it because they don't know it really well. It doesn't sound like it was preplanned. The problem with this is you won't get everything across that you want to. You won't extract the emotions you want from your audience as well and the subtleties that might affect the impact of the story dramatically can't be focused on.
On the other end of the spectrum, once you get your stories down really well, you sound way too polished. You'll get people asking you if you tell this story all the time and you'll lose your authenticity. The way to remedy this is to add in pauses, normal improper speech patterns and corrective language. Instead of saying, "It was like when you go to the mall and," you can say, "It was like... Have you ever gone to a mall and."
If you're really curious on what it looks like, watch the Dane Cook Insomniac Tour. He's probably done those routines hundreds of times before he was there. But, it looks like he's coming up with that information right on the spot. There's a particular routine where he's talking about handing someone a camera and how a lot of people react like they're disassembling a bomb when you ask them to take a picture. You'll know exactly what I'm talking about when you watch that scene.
That's how you should look when you're telling your story. You should know your story well enough that you can emphasize points in it, add dramatic pausing when necessary, and get everything you want to across in it without it looking scripted.
Where to Find Your Stories
Initially, it's going to be hard to know where your stories are. Believe me, I had the same problem you have. Eventually, you'll be able to pull stories out the air. Half of the stories that I use for openers are from the night that I'm out. The way that I started getting like this was by writing down stories. You should write down everything out of the ordinary that happens to you on a daily basis. You can even make a note of it in a little notebook that you carry around with you.
The purpose of this isn't necessarily to get stories but get you in the mindset of pulling stories out of your environment. Even if you have a bunch of extremely boring stories initially, you'll start to find things that happened that were a little more interesting until you eventually see or remember interesting things that have happened to you in the past. Eventually, you'll have more stories than you can even possibly tell anyone. Don't hold back, let people know about the silly or interesting things that happened to you that day. Sinn and I were in Philadelphia for just a couple days. But, I still tell some of the stories from it just because that many interesting things happened to us. You should take the stories that convey the right parts of your personality and intend to integrate them somewhere in your game.
Here are some other ideas on where to find stories:
• What was the most interesting thing that happened to you in the last month?
• What was the last funny thing that happened to or around you?
• What was the weirdest thing that happened around you recently?
• What were some of the turning points that happened in your life?
• What have you learned from your experiences?
• What have you done that taught you an important lesson?
• Has anything funny or interesting happened with your relationships or your friend's relationships?
• Have you ever faced any fears that you had to overcome?
Honesty and Exaggeration
I think it's very important for your own character as well as for your friends and potential friend's livelihood that you don't fabricate stories or completely steal other people's work. Initially, if you're having problems telling stories or coming up with your own and you just want to practice with people you don't know (or friends telling them the story and revealing it isn't true), there isn't anything wrong with getting into it using stories that don't have a lot of importance to them.
However, your goal with your stories is to make them your stories. Stories that convey your personality, tell a little bit about your life, and share your experience and wisdom with others. You don't want to be fake. Even if you fool people for a while, eventually, people will uncover the fact that you aren't genuine. You need to have true stories of your own that are based on the truth.
So, why do I say "based on truth"? Because, there are certain things that you can change in stories to make them funnier, hide other's identities, make a point a little more solid, or convey part of your personality more than you would if the story was told exactly how everything was. And just like a good camp story, the story will probably be changed a little bit each time you tell it regardless of whether you want it to or not. Over time, things become fuzzy anyway.
So, what can we exaggerate on and what can't we? Here are some parts of the story that you want to keep the same:
• Who the story happened to - If this story happened to your brother, sister, uncle, mom, dad, friend, relative or some other person, don't try to claim it as your own. You have plenty of stories from your life and don't need to steal other people's stories. When others find out that it wasn't you, nobody will trust you and your integrity will be compromised.
• Where it took place - Don't tell people that it happened in Vegas when it happened in Pennsylvania... especially if you've never been to Vegas. Keep the story on track with where it was. That way all the details are in tact and you don't have to make up white lies about other things that happened during that time or in that location. If the location is completely irrelevant, you can exaggerate on it. But, if it has some relevance, stay away from it.
• The general idea of the story - Don't try to turn a story about how you stalked someone into a story about how wrong the person was or how they were really stalking you. Don't try to turn a story of how you acted in fear into a story of how you were courageous. It just doesn't work. I've seen too many people try this and it destroys the story and is conveyed the wrong way. Keep your integrity in tact.
• The people in the story - Don't add and subtract people from the story. It will get confusing to you and you won't be able to tell it correctly.
Here are some things you can exaggerate:
• Personal or object characteristics - You can exaggerate someone's weight, their accent, the way they were standing, the words someone uses, body or facial features, clothing, or other personal characteristics that enhance the story a little bit. You can exaggerate saying that a rope was thinner than it was or a puddle was bigger.
• Length of time - You can exaggerate the length of time that things happened during. The reason you would do this is to emphasize a point that you were trying to make.
The important thing here is that your integrity is there. If you're afraid that someone might find out the truth about something, you probably shouldn't exaggerate or change that part. If you think that nobody will think it's a big deal, feel free to exaggerate a little bit.
I dare do all that may become a man; Who dares do more is none.
01-22-2007, 11:55 PM #2.
- Join Date
- Mar 2006
- New York City
Jesus, this is good stuff man. I got about half way through (its 2:50AM give me a break!), I'll read the remainder tomorrow.
BUT, what I'd like to add is that your stories have context to the conversation when you bring them up. Its more congruent that way. So you've got some DHV story that happened at the beach, but you are talking to her about the supermarket, just change the beach setting to the supermarket and now you've got a REASON to bring it up.
Also, watch Dane cook, he's a great storyteller and comedian. His stories are also pure DHVs, really good stuff.
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01-27-2007, 04:13 PM #3
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- Jan 2006
Good overview and some good examples here, Thanks for putting it together. Something that a lot of people fail to realize when they tell stories is they are just reciting DAILY OCCURRENCES. This is the lowest level of connection you can have... [remember on the hierarchy you have at the bottom: GOSSIP / OPINIONS / and..all the way at the top you have FEELINGS and emotions. So with these stories you can easily transition into comfort by evoking your OWN FEELINGS then asking her about HER.
For instance, if you just told a scary story about when you were 5 and it was very emotional, you can then ask her WHAT SHE WAS LIKE as a kid, then throw in your own intuitions "I bet you were that bratty...blah blah blah" Or I bet you were a good girl...I can tell"
Remember to throw this stuff out and have a 2 way conversation. Lead the conversation into fun, exciting topics.
One thing that has not been mentioned in any of the BRISTOL LAIR or MM or even the forum posts on how to tell stories that is imperative to having an interesting story is something we all learned in the first grade.
EVERY GOOD STORY NEEDS A CONFLICT. IF YOU DON'T HAVE A CONFLICT, YOU DON'T HAVE A STORY!!!!!! This will leave them on the edge of their seat and you, in turn, become interesting.
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