Thanks for joining Vamp Up Your Verbs!


Had fun decorating stories by vamping up your verbs? I sure did! Brightening up your verbs is just one of the many tools you can use to polish up your narrative, and I'm happy to have touched upon this subject with you.  I hope from now on, you'll think twice before picking a verb while writing a story or speech - and you'll see, the more often you do it, the more those specific verbs become integrated in your everyday vocabulary. 



Some verbs are more characteristic than others. Common verbs are plain and functional; they serve their purpose, but don't spark the imagination. Think of verbs as go, say, have, take, etc. 


Specific verbs have personality and carry within them certain details such as mood and emotion. Had they been persons, they would have been the ones that stand out at a party. They immediately change the scenery: verbs as growl, snatch, stumble, tiptoe.



By replacing common verbs by specific verbs, you can make your story so much more vivid.


We changed 'he walked towards me' into, for example, 'he sprinted, strolled, tiptoed, sneaked towards me' which resulted not only in different images, but completely different stories!



There are many replacement possibilities for most common verbs. To find those, and to train and expand your vocabulary, you can exercise by making a list such as the one displayed on the left. You can use a thesaurus if you like, and you can categorise the lists by mood or emotion. 


You can do this if you're looking for a specific verb, but it's also a fun exercise to train your creativity and expand your vocabulary in general - again, the more often you do this, the easier it will become to find specific verbs. 


As an exercise, we replaced the two verbs in the sentence as showed here on the left. By changing these verbs, we completely changed the mood of the sentence (or very small story, if you will). 


Don't exactly remember the outcomes? That's great! You can do the exercise again and see what you can come up with. How many different storylines can you generate simply by replacing the verbs?


We only just touched upon the effect of details of storytelling. Can't get enough of decorating your narrative and want to know more, or are you interested in some personal storytelling coaching in preparation for your speech, pitch, blog, what have you? Feel free to contact me for a 1-on-1 session via


Want to read the article I wrote about this specific subject? You can find it here, and follow me on Medium while you're at it!

Are you lazy? No worries: it is a podcast too.