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  • Writer's pictureRain Bennett

Ep. 79: Why I Won My First Storytelling Competition

Happy first solo podcast day of the year, storytellers! As promised, we are going to continue to do these shorter, solo episodes and this one is definitely a hard hitter. Rain retells the story that won him his first storytelling competition and gives us line by line pointers for making your story a success, too. This is a perfect episode for anyone who wants to really get technical with their storytelling strategy and hone their potential.



A little over three years ago, I sat among an audience of 300 people in a dark music venue in Durham, North Carolina.

I had a beer in my hand and my heart was beating fast as I waited for the next name to be called from the host on stage.

Then it happened.

“Next we have coming to the stage, Rain Bennett! Where are you, Rain?”

I sat my beer down on the floor, looked at my girlfriend, and gave her a confident smile.

But I was terrified.

I was walking up the steps to the stage to tell my first live story in a “story slam” -- a competition where people tell five minute stories about a predetermined theme (chosen by the event manager) and are scored by a panel of judges.

The lights were blinding. I couldn’t see anyone in the crowd.

But I was about to tell them all a story about when I found out my father was an abusive alcoholic.

Ten minutes later, I was back in my seat holding my girlfriend’s hand as my scores came in from the judges.

She had never heard me tell a story like that and I could tell she was impressed… and proud.

I won.

It was my first story slam and I won, qualifying me for a “Grand SLAMpionship” later that year.

It was challenging. It was scary. But it was me -- authentic and vulnerably me.

In this episode of the podcast, I’m going to play that story for you. Not only that, but we are going to break down exactly why it won against so many seasoned storytellers.

Then I want you to take those lessons and apply them to your stories.

Peace and Love,



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For more storytelling tips and tricks,

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