Master Your Storytelling Techniques To Elevate Your Podcast Interviews

Aug 23, 2023

Storytelling Techniques

Storytelling in podcasts does NOT come naturally to me – I clam up – yet I love guests on my show that have great stories to illustrate their point- it makes for a great conversation and helps the audience understand and relate. 

So today I’m chatting with Storytelling expert Mark Carpenter who shares what kinds of stories to share, how to craft them, why they make for more impactful episodes, and more.

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The Power of Storytelling

During our conversation, Mark emphasized the importance of being intentional about storytelling. He suggested having a pre-designed story, lasting around 45 to 90 seconds, to illustrate a point effectively. He also advised against going off on tangents and emphasized the need to have a clear ending or purpose for the story.


Tailoring Stories for Different Goals

We delved into whether different stories serve different goals. Mark explained that while the same story can be used for various goals, it’s crucial to edit and tailor the story to suit the specific audience and purpose. He encouraged listeners to identify moments in their lives that evoke emotional reactions and use those as the basis for their stories.


Creating a Library of Stories

Mark revealed his unique approach to capturing potential story ideas. He keeps a folder on his iPad mini called “Stories for Someday,” where he notes down potential story ideas. He suggested creating a library of stories that can be used when needed.


“Listening to stories is how we make sense of the world. That’s how stories really connect us as a species, so that we can relate to each other. It also helps us understand that message better and retain it longer.” Mark Carpenter


The Impact of Storytelling on Podcasting

We discussed how storytelling creates a conversational and relatable experience for listeners. Mark shared a story about a podcast host who saw an increase in followers and reviews after implementing storytelling in his episodes. He explained that storytelling engages more parts of the brain, making it easier for people to remember and connect with the message.


Crafting a Story: A Three-Step Process

When I asked Mark about a formula or guide for crafting a story, he explained the three steps: introduction, conflict, and change. He emphasized the importance of sharing stumble stories and being vulnerable, as it makes people more relatable and authentic.


The Art of Sharing Stories on Podcasts

Mark provided valuable advice on how to share stories and help guests share stories on podcasts. He suggested asking questions that prompt guests to share their experiences and provide examples. He also emphasized the importance of being intentional and clear about the purpose of the story and its relevance to the topic.


Considering the Audience

Mark emphasized the importance of considering the audience when telling stories. He referred to the “curse of knowledge,” where storytellers assume that everyone knows what they know. He advised storytellers to think about who their audience is, what they already know, and what they don’t know.


Overcoming the Fear of Storytelling

We discussed the fear of not feeling natural or making mistakes while telling stories. Mark encouraged storytellers not to worry too much about mistakes and to call them out if necessary. He reassured listeners that storytelling is a skill that can be learned and developed over time with practice and feedback.


The Story Catcher: A Tool for Storytellers

Mark offers a free download called the “Story Catcher” on his website, which helps guide storytellers in finding and crafting intentional stories. This document helps storytellers identify experiences that can be turned into compelling narratives.


Intentionality in Storytelling [00:02:50] Importance of being intentional about incorporating storytelling into podcasts and speaking engagements.

Using Stories to Teach, Lead, Sell, and Inspire [00:07:05] Exploring how stories can be used to teach, lead, sell, and inspire, with a focus on the end goal and desired change.

The importance of storytelling in podcasting [00:08:43] Using storytelling in podcasts can help increase followers and reviews, making greater connections with listeners.

The power of storytelling in retaining information [00:10:15] Sharing information through storytelling engages more parts of the brain, leading to better retention compared to just presenting facts.

Using storytelling in marketing [00:11:43] Stories can be used in emails, sales, and overcoming objections to draw readers in and make a relatable connection.

How to get a guest to add a story to the interview [00:18:07] Encouraging hosts to ask guests to share experiences and examples to illustrate points.

Plan your stories [00:20:55] Preparing and intentionally writing out stories to weave into podcast episodes for a more impactful conversation.

The importance of knowing your audience [00:26:57] Understanding your audience’s knowledge level and avoiding jargon to effectively connect with them.

The focus of storytelling should be the lesson learned [00:28:12] Emphasizing that the main focus of a story should be the lesson it serves to the audience, rather than making oneself the hero.

The process of learning and practicing storytelling [00:28:58] Highlighting that storytelling is a skill that can be developed through practice and learning from mistakes.

The importance of effective communication [00:34:53] Discussion on how to become better communicators and improve podcast guesting skills.


About Mark

Mark Carpenter is a serial storyteller. Even as a child, he loved to tell stories (mainly to get attention). He leveraged that ability into a career in marketing communications and public relations, then as a college professor and corporate facilitator.

Now, he teaches people how to more intentionally tell stories that teach, lead, sell, and inspire to accomplish business and personal goals. He is the co-author of the best-selling book “Master Storytelling: How to Turn Your Experiences Into Stories that Teach, Lead, and Inspire” and co-creator of the Master Storytelling Workshop. Leveraging a 20-year career in corporate communication, 10 years working as an adjunct professor of communication, and 15 years facilitating training, Mark couples a lively, engaging style with purposeful, impactful learning.

When he’s not training, speaking, coaching, or creating new content, Mark is likely hiking or snowshoeing in the mountains near his home in Utah, playing the piano, bragging about his grandchildren, or writing children’s books.


Resources & Links:

Get The Story Catcher! –


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