There’s an art to telling stories. But successful art is governed by structure. There are 5 steps in the structure of storytelling. Each is important in crafting an effective break. I explain all of the steps in great detail in this seminar on demand. But if you’re in a hurry, you can learn a lot by listening to Jeff and Jer demonstrate the 5 steps of storytelling.

This break is funny, charming and reveals character traits of the cast, especially Jeff. Here’s what I hear in it:

The Hook: Jeff hooks the audience in the first line of the break. It takes less than 5 seconds to attract interest. It’s externally focused, a key to a great hook.

Set-Up: Jeff then tells a couple of quick personal stories that fit the topic. The anecdotes are more effective after a strong hook. Imagine if Jeff started with, “Let me tell you a story about how we lie to our kids.” The impact would be totally different, wouldn’t it? Also notice how Laura asks, “Didn’t you lie to your son about his birthday once?”. She asks for a second story.

Dress Up: Here, the Dress Up is when listeners add stories. Notice how each caller has a different type of story. And in all three calls, the show adds details, especially the call about the ice cream truck. Each call is entertaining and advances the premise of lying to kids.

Pay Off: There’s not a single laugh at the end, but the show gets out on a high note. They leave the listener wanting more because they knew when the segment had peaked and exited quickly.

Black Out: The segment ends abruptly. Ideally, the break would end with a tease for an upcoming segment. But the key here is they get out on time moved on.

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