Five Ts

Five Ts

What is the Five Ts story tactic?

Keep these Ts in your back pocket in case someone puts you on the spot and you need to tell a story right now!

Timeline: beginning, middle and end.
Turning Points: realisation, decision and change.
Tensions: anxious moments and conflict.
Temptations: easy way out or do the right thing?
Teachable Moments: the moral of your story.

Tip: Story Listening will also help you develop off-the-cuff story skills.

How to use the Five Ts story tactic

Timeline: Beginning, Middle and End.

  • "At first .. ." [problem]
  • "Then we tried .. ." [action
  • "And now we ... " [result]
  • Or even simpler: Before and After:
  • "We used to do/think. .. " [ status quo]
  • "But now ... " [new order]

Turning Points: key moments in the timeline.

  • "We realised we had a big problem when ... "
  • "We made a breakthrough when .. ."
  • "We knew we had to act when ... "
  • "Everything changed when .. ."

Tensions: Start with the moment of maximum conflict or anxiety, then tell us how it works out. For example, ''At the start of the Covid pandemic, I lost all my clients in a week. .. "

Temptations: Was there a moment when you could have been lazy, told a lie or taken the easy way out, but instead you did the right thing?

Teachable Moment:

  • "So I guess my point is ... "
  • "I'll never forget ... "
  • "What this taught me is ... "

Which version do you feel most comfortable telling? This matters, because we can sense when you're "putting on a show" rather than speaking "naturally".

You might like these Storyteller Tactics

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Five Ts is one of 54 storytelling recipe cards inside the Storyteller Tactics card deck.

Ditch dull presentations and tell great stories that influence and inspire your team, stakeholders and customers.