Story Dynamics – Stories » Storytelling Skills

Your Hidden Storytelling Strengths (part 1)

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 [...]

The “Storyteller” Label: Wings or Shackles?

When we first discover storytelling, it opens opportunities for us to use and develop talents we have developed in our earlier lives.

But there can come a time when holding too tightly to the identity of “storyteller” can hobble us from continuing the sorts of exploration that led us to storytelling in the first place.

Should you be labelling yourself by the tools you use, or by what you create with those tools?

Do You Show Yourself While You Tell?

Showing yourself sounds easy, but it can be difficult, indeed. Throughout our lives, we may have learned to hide our uniqueness. Carried to extremes, this may make us inoffensive but also bland. The best storytellers can allow themselves to be tasted just as they are, to let their flavor completely emerge – and not try to disguise it with salt or MSG.

The second skill of showing yourself can seem contradictory to the first: find your purest motivation and ignore the others while you tell. But this involves shining a light on your desires for your audience and leaving your other desires in the shadows. When you succeed, you have the great opportunity to become a servant to your listeners.

Emotional Authenticity for Storytellers

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.

Relating to Your Listeners

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!

Oral Language Skills for Storytellers

In this second installment of “12 Skills of the Storyteller,” I take up the two key skills relating to oral language.

Imagination Skills for Storytellers

Storytelling Skills, Part 1: The first three skills of the masterful storyteller deal with imagining, since images are the stuff of stories.

The 4 Dangers of Storytelling Skills

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!

30 Reasons To Thank A Storyteller, Part II

Let’s start our new year with gratitude for storytelling. After all, storytelling makes so much of human life possible that it’s tempting to take storytelling for granted.

In this second half of “30 Reasons to Thank a Storyteller,” I’ll look at the big picture, from how storytelling helps our species survive to how it helps us live in communities and even whole societies. (Read Part I at http://www.storydynamics.com/thank1 )

Have You Thanked a Storyteller Today?

Storytelling touches, shapes and enriches our lives at every level, from the individual to the community, the society, and even the survival of our species.

In honor of the Thanksgiving holiday (in the U.S.), let’s count some of the blessings that come to us from storytelling. In this first installment, I list fifteen of the benefits of storytelling that relate, first, to our individual development (as children and as adults) and, second, to that precious human endeavor, communication.

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