At the beginning of every year, in my Toastmaster Club, we held a Tall Tales Contest. The idea was to Tell a Tall Tale, as Tall as possible for about 4 to 5 minutes. After everyone had related their story, we would vote to see which Tale was true or false. Most times, our club members knew whose story was true or false, not because we knew each other so well (although that does count for something!) but the basic ingredients of a Tall Tale are clear.

The story has to have an exaggerated element to it.
The main characters are larger than life.
There is always a problem that is miraculously solved.
It is really unbelievable.

-Those who tell stories rule the world- Plato.

These guidelines guaranteed amusement and mystery. The person who won was often the person who told a complete false story but made us believe it was true. Sometimes, there were people who could tell a true story and we just didn’t believe it.
What are these fascinating elements in our story telling skills?
How can we embellish a story to lift it off the ground floor and bring it on up to the roof top?

This week, I am looking at the art of embellishment. How we turn stories into totally believable True Tall Tales. And believe me, there will be times when a Tall Tale will be required!  Maybe, you will insert a short anecdote into your longer speech or presentation. You can also use it as a warm up when you are hosting an event. There could also be a 5 minute break between 2 speakers, when a little amusing story will be appreciated by the audience. You just never know when you will need to pull out of your pocket a little story with character.

Here are six ways to enrich, enhance and garnish your Tales

One. Sprinkle some zing on your verbs and honey on your adjectives.

Two. Make your hero a heroine, changing the gender is often unbelievable!

Three. Location, another planet, a city built on the ocean etc etc.

Four. Facial expressions and body language can really add drama to your story.

Five. Use humour but caution with ready-made-jokes.

Six. Create a surprise ending.

All these elements help to build your story telling skills. Adding some drama and humour helps you to grow your confidence. It is a wonderful feeling to see your audience laugh with you! Also, it is great training for your imagination. Giving your creative mental powers some exercise.

For amusement, check this link to read some Tall Tale sentences.

-In the end, we all become stories – Margaret Atwood

So make the most of your life. Live and love your stories and make some into True Tall Tales.

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