Many storytellers have a hard time getting the hang of the proper pacing in a story. This is understandable because it’s not something you usually think about. However, poor pacing can really make your story feel rushed or dragged out. When the audience feels as if the pacing isn’t right, they won’t realize it consciously per se. Instead, something will just feel off, and they’ll usually end up getting bored or lost depending on how your pacing is messed up.
In order to make pacing easier on yourself, you can easily layer your story in such a way that it’s constantly building tension to pay off in a grand conclusion. This is a simple but effective way of pacing your story in a way that keeps the audience’s attention. Think of your story as a rollercoaster ride. A rollercoaster wouldn’t just start off on a huge drop and then slowly coast for the rest of the time. It builds you up to that drop point slowly, and then finally has the big moment. If you blow a lot of your exciting moments early on, the rest of your presentation is going to be boring. Likewise, though, if you save all the excitement for the very end, people are going to be bored throughout.
Instead, you have to have increasing layers of excitement throughout, starting off small and building up until you have your best one at the end. The halfway point should still have some vaguely interesting or exciting moments in it. The conclusion is crucial because it’s typically what ends up being cemented in audiences’ minds, and also often contains the primary message of your story. You want this to be an exciting moment so that it really stays with them. Keeping your audience’s attention throughout the presentation is also critical. In order for your story to be fully memorable, they have to be entertained or entranced the entire time.
If the entire middle part of your story is boring, people might start to check out and stop paying attention, which is very hard for you to recover from. Others might even go so far as to leave if they’re that bored.
Once you learn how to keep building up tension, people won’t get bored because they’ll keep getting roped into the story. They’re going to want to see how the tension you’re building culminates.
By keeping your story interesting throughout and ending with a great conclusion, audiences won’t just be entertained, but they’ll also be sure to remember your story will live rent-free in their mind for what seems like an eternity.