NLP 4 Tuple – What Makes a Good Story Teller?

What Makes a Good Story Teller

NLP 4 tuple is one of the most powerful tools to put some “umpf” in your stories. NLP is also called a “study of excellence.” Basically very skilled people have been studied (modelled) in order to determine what specifically they do to be excellent. What is definitely a skill is “story telling”, which is of course part of being a good communicator.

In NLP Training a host of tools are taught in order to enhance communication. In this article I want to focus on 4-tupling an experience. Basically, what makes a good story teller?

Good story tellers, want to help the listener engage. Be present in the story, as if they are experiencing it for real.

A way to effectively achieve this is by 4-tupling:


This is a story about walking in the forest.

1. Describe what can be heard in the story.

You can hear the rustling of the leaves, twigs breaking with each step you take, some birds chirping some distance away.

2. Describe what can be seen in the story.

You see the forest path in front of you, and as you look up you’ll notice that some sunlight is coming through the thick blanket of dark green leaves.

3. Describe what can be felt in the story.

You feel the twigs breaking underneath your feet as you walk the path, and with each step you take you’ll become more and more relaxed.

4. Describe what can be smelled/tasted in the story.

You can smell the fresh pine trees, etc.

Next time you are listening to a story of someone who you know is a great story teller, pay attention. And you’ll notice that they 4-tuple naturally.

For both NLP and non-NLP trained coaches I highly recommend 4-tupling, not just when you are telling metaphors. Also when you are doing NLP techniques, and when you are assocating the client as to what they future can and will be like. The 4-tuple allows you to be a more inspiritational and more powerful coach.


  1. Very good advice. I made that experience myself once when I was coaching a new client and focused too much on the feeling part of my future pace and was wondering why my client didn’t “get” it…just to the moment when I addressed the other senses and it clicked.
    From that moment on I made sure to alway 4-tuple in coaching as well as when I write (for example Marketing materials).

    I will definitely pay attention to the next speaker I am listening to.