I never quite know how to finish telling a story. To give an example, whenever I am telling a funny story, or a story I believe to be funny, all I can ever come up with to end the story is to say something like "it was hilarious." I don't know if it annoys people when I say that, but I know I annoy myself when I say it. How to you guys wrap up a story?
I've always wanted to be skilled at telling stories, too. I really enjoy hearing them, but can never seem to deliver them quite right. Would make for an interesting article if one hasn't already been written.
That's a thinker! If you tell your story with enthusiasm and if the story is funny, you'll see that the line is unnecessary. By the time you finish your story, people should be responding. I understand you. We all have these things we say when we talk that we can perceive as annoying: "like," "sort of," "um," etc.
This is actually a forte of mine, which I pride myself in. I tell all stories with a ton of emotion - this is the number one rule; you want to put the audience in your shoes and make them feel like they are experiencing it. You want to slowly build up anticipation and then hit them with the "punch line" at the very end - this will eradicate the need to add a "it was hilarious" (although there's really nothing wrong with that). Also, envision the story in your mind while you tell it; it'll be easier to paint the picture for your audience.
Edit: Also, right after the punch line of what happened (while everyone is, hopefully, laughing) you can tell them what was going through your head at the moment of the punch line. Something like, "I couldn't believe it!" or whatever.
If I'm telling a story I thought was funny and nobody else is laughing at the end of it, I tend to say something like "well, I thought it was funny" or "guess you had to be there". If the story is funny though, it should be neatly punctuated with laughter and comments about how funny you are.
Stories have their own endings. If it is a good story, and if it is well told, the ending will come. If you have to tell someone "it was hilarious," or "I guess you had to be there" then obviously they did not find it hilarious and you are just drawing attention to the fact your story just flopped. Don't do that. If you did tell it well, they will be laughing and you can leave that as the ending.
If you wish to learn about public speaking, and storytelling is a form of public speaking, you may wish to join toastmasters general, or some other group that encourages and teaches what is rapidly becoming a lost art.
"and then I found $20". That makes every story better
My daughter just taught me this. Now I do it when I get to the end of a story and I realize its not having the intended impact on the audience. At least then I get SOME reaction.
"......And that's when I realized that my proctologist had both hands on my shoulders!"
Seriously though, I always end the story on a happy note if it's a sad or serious one, or sometimes just shrug and say "Yeah, that's how she goes" or "them's the breaks" depending on the story. I'm not exactly an expert at ending stories either.
I work with a woman that tells lots of stories, loudly and finishes EVERY one of them with "and I was like OH MY GOD!".
I hear that many times a day, every day.
Don't do that.
The problem that most of my "good" stories have, are they all begin the same way... "So there I was..." or "So on my second deployment, during this mission..."
But, war stories are generally only shared with those who have been to war, and so the punch line usually turns to another person starting into their stories... especially if libations are involved at all in the location of the story telling.
tell tell tell tell the story and end with
man that was some good shit
that was a good time
that was way funnier to watch happen to somebody else
better him them me
dont think ( or f**ked depending on the audience) if i would have done it like that
-----of course you can just say THE END, f**ck you for not laughing.
I often end with:
"And that's the story of ...(how I had an affair with a one-armed women after which her husband gave me a boat)"
"So..... I've never (spent a complete night in that village) ever again...."