Story Dynamics – Stories » The Community of Storytellers

Thankful to Be a Storyteller—Now

Much of what is hard for us as storytellers and artists stems from how important—and dangerous—arts can be.

For all the difficulties, we live in a great time to be a storyteller, not because rivers of money are flowing to us or because we are prominent in society, but because it’s a great time to become the storyteller you are capable of being – and therefore to help nudge society ever closer to what it, too, is capable of becoming.

“Strength Vision” for Storytellers?

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.

What is Excellence in Storytelling?

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.

Beware the “Storytelling Voice”!

Too many storytellers adopt an artificial way of speaking that has nothing to do with communication or the peculiar qualities of the tale being told. This practice holds back the teller, the listeners, and the growth of storytelling as a whole.

Coaching a teller to drop this kind of “misdirected effort” is tricky, but possible. The coach must lead the teller through four important steps. Above all, we must treat tellers afflicted with this “performance virus” with patience, respectfulness, and genuine affection, for they, too, have great potential and are therefore precious to our movement.

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