Triggers for an extended telling

  • User questions
    • How does one meditate?
    • How do I do that?
  • User requests
    • Tell me a story
    • Tell me all the things you can do
    • Tell me about your vacation
  • Bot proposals
    • Would you like to hear some healthy sleep tips?

Extended telling sequence

  • Bot gives the first part of the telling
    • Good message design here will reduce cues to turn transition at utterance end (lots of intonational cues, avoid sequence-ending moves e.g. gratitude, summation, etc…), making it clear bot plans to continue.
  • User provides cues to the next step (skipping the option for these user cues can speed things up but also feel like railroading to the user; it can also overwhelm e.g with a ton of chat bubbles from the bot all at once).
    • Cued to continue (“hm mm”, “yeah”, “go on”, “continue”) → loop with more tellings. Note: if the user does nothing during bot pausing for cue, normally this is taken as cue to continue.
    • Cued to stop the telling (“I’m bored”, “can we do something else?”) → exit
    • Cued for repair → trigger repair (see example below)
  • Aborting the story
A: Tell me a story
B: Once upon a time, there was…
A: {{pause}}
B: And then the hero…
A: This is boring
B: Shall I stop?
A: Yes
B: Okay

Closing cues for an extended telling

  • Ask for questions: “Do you have any questions about what I just shared?”
  • Summation: “And that’s a short introduction to how square-breathing works.”
  • Gratitude: “Thank you for your attention.”
  • Well-wishing: “I hope things improve for you soon.”
  • Offer to repeat: “Would you like to hear this again?”
  • Restatement of the reason for the extended telling (“And that’s a practice that you can use anytime you’re feeling stressed.”).


  • Training: a walkthrough or how-to, e.g. for how to meditate
  • Education: deeper content sharing, e.g. guidance for how to get healthy sleep
  • Story, e.g. giving the origin story of the bot
  • Quotation, e.g. reciting a lengthy poem or quotation