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Publisher's Summary

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • The definitive guide to telling an unforgettable story in any setting, drawing on twenty-five years of experience from the storytelling experts at The Moth 

“From toasts to eulogies, from job interviews to social events, this book will help you with ideas, structure, delivery and more.”—CNN

Over the past twenty-five years, the directors of The Moth have worked with people from all walks of life—including astronauts, hairdressers, rock stars, a retired pickpocket, high school students, and Nobel Prize winners—to develop true personal stories that have moved and delighted live audiences and listeners of The Moth’s Peabody Award–winning radio hour and podcast. A leader in the modern storytelling movement, The Moth inspires thousands of people around the globe to share their stories each year.

Now, with How to Tell a Story, The Moth will help you learn how to uncover and craft your own unique stories, like Moth storytellers Mike Birbiglia, Rosanne Cash, Neil Gaiman, Elizabeth Gilbert, Padma Lakshmi, Darryl “DMC” McDaniels, Hasan Minhaj, Tig Notaro, Boots Riley, Betty Reid Soskin, John Turturro, and more.

Whether your goal is to make it to the Moth stage, deliver the perfect wedding toast, wow clients at a business dinner, give a moving eulogy, ace a job interview, be a hit at parties, change the world, or simply connect more deeply to those around you, stories are essential. Sharing secrets of The Moth’s time-honed process and using examples from beloved storytellers, a team of Moth directors will show you how to:

  • Mine your memories for your best stories
  • Explore structures that will boost the impact of your story
  • Deliver your stories with confidence
  • Tailor your stories for any occasion

Filled with empowering, easy-to-follow tips for crafting stories that forge lasting bonds with friends, family, and colleagues alike, this book will help you connect authentically with the world around you and unleash the power of story in your life.

©2022 Random House (P)2022 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

“Fans of nonprofit storytelling organization The Moth, which, since 1997, has presented 50,000-plus stories, won a Peabody Award for its The Moth Radio Hour and boasts a popular eponymous podcast, will be drawn to this guide to, yep, telling stories. From toasts to eulogies, from job interviews to social events, this book will help you with ideas, structure, delivery and more.”CNN

“Inspiring . . . This book . . . provides everything readers need to share their own personal narratives.”—Booklist

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What listeners say about How to Tell a Story

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I'm an adult. Get rid of the Beeps.

Good information. The cursing is beeped. This ruins the book because it hurts my ears. Obvious oversight to not have curing in your book.

13 people found this helpful

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bedtime story

Not what I expected but it did put me to sleep, but that is my opinion. The woke references have me asking for a refund.. nite nite.

9 people found this helpful

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Like listening to old friends

I recommend this to anyone. Listen:
-If you want to tell a story
-if you have to give a speech
-if you have trouble finding the right words to say the things that you feel
-if you want to make a connection to loved ones
-if you want to share with others what’s important
-if you’re a human

9 people found this helpful

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Best book to help you learn How to Tell a Story

I've been a fan and supporter of The Moth for about 20 years so I was very excited to hear about this book. My job is to speak on television, online, on stage, and also to write. Despite writing and reporting about other people's stories, I have no idea how to tell my own stories. Once I even tried to tell a story at the Moth's storytelling version of an open mic, and it flopped. I failed miserably. I know I have important stories to tell (don't we all?!) but clearly I was not very good at it. That's why listening to this book was such an eye-opening experience for me. How to Tell a Story is entertaining, educational, and interesting but most importantly the book is so helpful. It never occurred to me to use some of the "tricks" and techniques that the Moth directors have used for years use to get the best stories out of their storytellers - to get stories out of myself. I had no idea they use special techniques for this and that you can basically hack your own brain to get the best version of your stories out of your mind and into the world. I felt like I was given the cheat codes to a game that lets me finally tell my own story in a cohesive way. If you ever feel like you have a story (or multiple stories) deep inside of you that are just dying to get out, I strongly recommend this book

7 people found this helpful

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Mixed Feelings

The steps for telling a great story are beneficial to storytellers in any situation. Though the book highlights how these steps are used in Moth storytelling they can be adapted to your situation. The snippets of real storytellers often leave you wanting to hear the rest of the story. The downside of the audio version is that there are so many tips you would have to take notes in order to get the most benefit from the book. The hard copy would be a better choice. Another downside is that so many of the stories are left-leaning stories. I expected that but toward the end, it became somewhat annoying. However, don't let that keep you from learning how to tell a story. Conservatives have great stories to tell too.

6 people found this helpful

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Everything Not to Do

Trying to make it thru Chaoter 2, but can't. You jumped right into Moth storytelling, like everyone knows what that is? I've read other story telling books and never heard of Moth. Then, you jump right in with all the ways NOT to tell a story and 20-30 negatives. You're all over the board in Chapter 2 and can't follow. Surprised this is a book on Story Telling??

3 people found this helpful

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Good listen especially if familiar with the moth

It might be a bit more appropriate for those familiar with the moth from before. I was not and at first got a bit lost with all the talk about this thing called the moth. However there are interesting stories and lessons to be learned.

2 people found this helpful

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can I get my credit back?

I couldn't make it passes the second chapter. A lot of showing you ways how to complain without saying you're complaining. It just wasn't for me.

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an experience

I did listen start to finish and now I'm going back for a second helping.

2 people found this helpful

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Horrendously Misleading Title

This book is absolutely NOT about how to tell a story! The title pretends it is to dupe more people into buying the book. Don't be one of them. This book title lies!

The book is actually all about the Moth platform. It tells, in excruciating detail, every tiny facet and detail about the organization, it's process, it's people, it's history, it's rules, including reading word for word posters they post at events, how great it is, how wonderful all the people who created and maintain it are. It makes very clear it has no interest in telling you how to tell a story except within the highly restrictive confines of the Moth rules. It even finishes by talking about how wonderful the authors and anyone associated with the book (the list is long) are as they personally recite how accomplished they are, how nice their laughs are, and great there lives are, they really go on and on. It is a loooooong self pat on the back for everybody involved. Worst of all, it also makes an exhausting pitch trying to sell their services to corporate America.

What a scam!

1 person found this helpful

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