As a coach, I sometimes hear people say, “I know what I’m doing well. Just tell me what I’m doing wrong.” They seem to take it for granted that their strengths are obvious. But my experience suggests just the opposite. Discovering your strengths turns out to be a process that can take years – and [...]
Storytelling Skills, Part 4. Human experience is rich with emotions, yet our society denigrates emotion and sometimes actively denigrates it.
Storytellers, who portray the gamut of experience, need to master two key skills about emotions: 1) Letting emotions flow unimpeded as the story requires; and 2) Creating emotional safety for our listeners, so that they, too, can feel our story.
In many ways, we performing storytellers don’t live easy lives.
So, why do we do it? What’s in it for us?
Could it be something about the mysterious ways that stories pass through us, conveying meanings of which we may be unaware?
In this third installment of “12 Skills of the Storyteller,” I take up the two key skills of relating to your listeners. This is where the magic happens!
In this second installment of “12 Skills of the Storyteller,” I take up the two key skills relating to oral language.
Storytelling Skills, Part 1: The first three skills of the masterful storyteller deal with imagining, since images are the stuff of stories.
It sounds reasonable: create a list of concrete storytelling skills, then work on developing each one. But there are four big dangers. Ignore them at your peril!
As a discouraged student at a university that spoke only of weaknesses, I found one professor who taught me about noticing strengths.
As storytellers, we need to develop our “x-ray vision” for seeing the strengths in our own and others’ stories – no matter how obscured the strengths may currently be.
Only then are we prepared to help stories become stronger.
When we are “present,” we engage with our listeners and with our story. But how do we do that? How do we connect immediately – rather than half-way through a story or not at all?
Should we have standards for excellent storytelling? If so, does one size fit all? Or does each situation require different storytelling “behaviors” to enable us to succeed?
There are six “bosses” – six sets of expectations and needs – that we must respond to in any storytelling situation. Let’s begin our search for excellence by understanding who these demanding and sometimes capricious bosses are.