Listening to a radio interview about Haiti earthquake relief, I realized the three qualities of a message that made me take immediate action. Can a knowledge of these qualities improve your ability to use storytelling to motivate?
In storytelling, paradoxes abound.
In every case of paradox, we need to notice not just the effect we intend to create, but also the potentially opposite effect.
Continuously noticing the effects of our storytelling like this is demanding and sometimes unsettling. But it can also help our telling.
This article looks at three paradoxes that concern meaning – and how they might affect our storytelling.
We tend to assume that a story has a single meaning. “I need a story about cooperation,” you might say to a group of storytellers, as though the meaning about cooperation is fully embedded in the story itself.
But is this an accurate assumption? What is the exact relationship between a story and the meaning or meanings that a listener experiences?