That day, the most embarrassing
moment of my life became the
most beautiful moment of my life,
as I stood there in the full glory of
who I am. I found the courage to
embrace my Chub Rub, to see past
it and honor my gifts and talents.
In that moment, I found out how
to love myself, thighs and all. I
realized the things that made me
different had become the things
that made me great.
Develop the characters.
Every good story has characters we
can see and relate to, even if it’s just
one character—you. I take the time
to think about the characters in my
story and develop them a bit to
make them flavorful.
Here’s how I added flavor to
Work out the plot.
my main character (me):
There’s something you may not know
about me. I can be somewhat fashion
challenged. I don’t always know how
much hair is too much hair. Or when
to stop with the self-tanner. Or what
clothing is appropriate for a woman of
my age and stature. (Note to self: Bikinis
are not appropriate. Stomach kept
popping out like canned biscuits.) So,
it makes sense that I would purchase
a pair of bright silver sequined palazzo
pants. I know what you’re thinking.
“That’s a lot of sequins. Kind of like
bedazzling a walrus.” All I’ve got to say
is: If you make them in my size, don’t
be blaming me for wearing them!
Please don’t skip this step. Walk
through every moment and bullet point
it out. You won’t include every moment
in the story (please don’t include every
moment in the story) but you need to
make sure everything makes sense.
Audiences, even if they can’t detect it,
will notice irregularities in a story and
it will feel less authentic.
Force yourself to stick to only 500
words per paragraph.
Have fun with it.
Once you’re finished, just run with it.
Have fun. Don’t worry if you miss
some words. If you know the order of
things, you’ll be fine. Each time you tell
it, it will get better. And I promise, it is
way funnier than it would have been.
P.S. I’m happy to announce that I’ve
just bought a pair of sequined jogging
shorts. Fitness center, here I come. Save
me a StairMaster. Thighs . . . do your
thing. I’m Kelly Swanson, proud member of the Chub Rub Club, where thigh
gap is for losers.
Kelly Swanson is an award-winning storyteller, comedian, motivational speaker,
author and creator of the Story Impact
Academy, which teaches people in all industries through online training, summer camps
and hot seat shows, how to harness the
power of story to connect, influence and get
results. Visit www.StoryImpactAcademy.com
“We don’t connect
to plot. We connect
There is a lot of humor when you
compare two things that are
not by nature alike. When I
compared Chub Rub with AA,
it was funny. Take a moment to
think about any funny images
you can add, comparisons, comedy exercises, etc. Pull out those
great comedy formulas you’ve
been reading in books.
Here were some of these
Write it out.
elements in my story:
• Comparing the Chub Rub
Club to AA
• Talking about how my thighs
clapped when I walked like a
backyard church revival
• Comparing the event to my
high school prom.
Writing a story used to be a daunting
process, but not anymore. You already
have everything you need. Shoot, you
may not even need to write it out. You
could probably just use that outline you
have created and run with it. Just don’t
forget the funny lines. The better
crafted they are, the more laughs you
will get. And make sure your funny
word is at the end of the sentence. You
can say you don’t script your speeches,
but scripting is critical to a good joke
If you need a simple story template,
use my three-paragraph method: Be
able to say what the story is about (
general plot and lesson) in one sentence,
and then write it in three paragraphs.
• Paragraph 1: Context. Set it up.
Tell what goes into the scene.
• Paragraph 2: Story. Tell what happened.
• Paragraph 3: Lesson. Tell what you
learned from it.