You're grinding the story to a halt! How to avoid boring your audience

storytelling for business storytelling tips

Travel should never simply be travel.

So often I hear a storyteller say:

“So I get into the car and drive the 12 miles to Joan’s house. When I arrive, I walk up to the door and ring the bell.”

This is not good. It’s terrible, in fact.

Essentially, it amounts to a scene in which the audience envisions the storyteller driving a dozen miles in a car while nothing else happens.

In cases like these, you have two choices:

  1. Eliminate the drive entirely. Instead, say something like, “Half an hour later, I’m ringing the doorbell.” Don’t even mention the car. An audience doesn’t need to know the method of transport. They want to know what happens next.
  2. Make the drive meaningful. Include some inner dialogue about what you’re thinking or how you’re feeling as you get closer and closer to that doorbell. Make predictions about what might happen after ringing that bell. Use the drive to provide backstory or context for all that is about to happen. Raise the stakes by mentioning possible future peril.

If the purpose of the scene is simply to indicate a move from A to B, you are grinding the story to a halt, exiting the land of entertainment, and probably boring your audience.

Travel should never simply be travel. Make it a meal, or clear it off the table entirely.

Share This Article


More from our Blog

Keep things simple. Assume nothing.

You're grinding the story to a halt! How to avoid boring your audie...

Start with a Moment of Meaning

You Have Choice When You Begin a Story

Finding Inspiration for Stories

Careful not to ruin your endings it steals the joy from a story


Receive Helpful Storytelling Tips

The best available resources to improve your storytelling skills.

You're safe with me. I'll never spam you or sell your contact info.


The best available resources to improve your storytelling skills. Worksheets, activities, and exercises that will help you become a better storyteller.


Storyworthy Community

Join other developing storytellers in an engaging and supportive community. Receive tons of value, share your work, and receive feedback to improve your storytelling skills.



Whether your goal is to someday take the stage and tell a story or simply to become a better storyteller in the workplace or your social life, this podcast is for you.



Matt’s best storytelling strategies, tools, and techniques are based on his real-life experience creating stories and helping others use storytelling to improve their business and their lives.