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

Last updated