• Tell the truth
  • Know your story
  • Grab the audience's attention
  • Have stakes
  • Finish strong
  • Have fun
  • Be yourself


  • Use notes
  • Be sexist or racist
  • Do stand-up or poetry
  • Fake accents
  • Meander
  • Go overtime
  • Be a dick

See a show first
A little bit of research will go a long way.  Barefaced Stories is not stand-up, spoken word or poetry.  It is real people, onstage telling real stories.  And the best way to understand that is to see it in action.  It’s god damn inspiring.

Make people root for you from the beginning
Set up what is at stake for you early on. What do you stand to gain or lose?  People want to invest in your plight and root for the underdog.

Start in the action and with something that grabs attention.

Stories are about how you felt and much as what happened
When it comes to making a connection with the audience, honesty is the best policy. Stories can be about the small stuff, as long as the emotions are big. Look for the universal theme in your story, the one thing that connects with everyone on an emotional level.

Storytelling can be therapeutic, but Barefaced Stories is not therapy
Tell the story about your scar, not about your wound.  Make sure you are over it.  It’s fine to get emotional in a story, but you must protect yourself.  To tell a story well you have to have some perspective on it. Remember, tragedy + time = comedy.

We pay our storytellers… #payartists
We are proud to say that Barefaced Stories pays our performers. Our monthly shows will always honour the time, ideas, labour and skills that each person brings to our stage.  While other storytelling nights may not do this, it is something we pride ourselves on and because of it, our shows are of very high quality.

Rehearse, but not too much.
Stories are told without notes, cheatsheets or handwritten scrawlings on your arms.  Make sure you know your story well enough to remember it, but do not over-rehearse.  Even though you are the only one talking, make it feel like a conversation. If it sounds like a monologue the audience will tune out.  Make an outline, memorize your bullet points.  Trust yourself to remember it, it’s your story.

No stand-up, poetry or spoken word
There are other rooms for one-liners and beautiful musings that look good on paper.  They won’t work on our stage.

Still not sure…? Do a workshop or book some 1-on-1 coaching
Our workshops are great fun.  We help you find the stories in your life that are worth sharing and give you the confidence to do that.  If you don’t have time, sometimes a quick chat with us will help you to nut out your perfect story.  Click below for the options.