THE CONTEXT IS the first of four main phases of your story. It answers the following questions: Where and when does the story take place? Who is the main character? What does he or she want? It’s also where you provide any other necessary background for the rest of the story to make sense.

When done well, the context provides a number of benefits for the tellers and the listeners. It grabs the listeners’ attention. It tells them if the story is going to be relevant to them and their situation. It builds on the hook to generate more interest in and excitement about hearing the rest of the story. And it helps the listeners understand ...

Get Sell with a Story now with O’Reilly online learning.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from 200+ publishers.