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Storytelling: Your Life-Line in a Recession?

In hard times, is storytelling just a frill? Or can it be part of a strategy to survive and even thrive?
When times get really hard, people change their eating habits. They look for food that is…

Why Story Listening Makes You Thankful

It’s not too hard to be thankful when things go great. But in hard times, thankfulness requires some outside help. That’s when it especially pays to listen to stories.

Is Storytelling the Technology of the Future?

In July, 1984 I asked my friend and storyteller Jay O’Callahan to come to my apartment to look at my my first computer, a brand new Apple Macintosh. It had two programs, MacPaint and MacWrite. I showed Jay how MacWrite could move text from one place to another. How you could copy a whole paragraph [...]


To keep from stunting your storytelling, you need to understand its natural growth process. Growing a New Skill Do you remember the first formal story you ever told? For me, it was a folktale I told to my class of emotionally disturbed students in 1970. It was the first time they had stopped resisting me [...]

Can you tell stories “good enough” for children?

When I was boy, my favorite times were Saturday mornings. My father would sit down and ask me, “What do you want to learn about today?” One Saturday, in the course of helping me write a poem, he compared it to making up a story. My attention was galvinized. He knew how to make up [...]

Are you bailing out before your happy ending?

Every storyteller knows one thing: a problem in a story is never a final defeat.Think of “Jack and the Beanstalk.” When we hear in that folktale that Jack is poor, lazy, the child of a single mother, and about to sell their last cow, how do we react? We do NOT say, “That’s hopeless. Forget [...]

Do You Know the First Thing About Storytelling?

By “Do you know the first thing about storytelling,” I mean, “What’s the primary – the most important – thing to know?”You see, many people come to storytelling with an idea, often unconscious, of what storytelling consists of. When that idea is incorrect or unhelpful, it leads them to tell stories ineffectually. And the Word [...]

The Seven Deadly Marketing Sins – for Storytellers

If you’re like most storytellers, you would like to tell more stories, and that means marketing your storytelling – whether for money or not. Sadly, most tellers commit one or more of the following big mistakes. The storytellers are not the only losers, though; their potential listeners are also deprived of the joy and power [...]

Is Your Body Confusing Your Listeners?

(Kinesthetic Imagery, Part 2)In last month’s eTips, I talked about kinesthetic imagery and how it relates to characterization. (If you missed it, it’s at )By “kinesthetic,” I meant the sensations people feel in their muscles, guts, or joints. These differ from and supplement visual images, auditory images, and images of all the other senses. [...]

Give Your Storytelling Some Muscle

(Kinesthetic Imagery, Part I)Years ago, my friend Charles told me about the first time he heard a certain rising executive speak to a group. Charles said, “I thought, who is this man? Why do I dislike him so much?”Charles went on to tell me how stiffly the man stood. “And when he gestured, it was [...]

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