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Improving Your Storytelling

by Doug Lipman

You can order this item via my on-line order form! Or from

"A thoughtful framework that can apply to anyone whose livelihood depends on keeping an audience rapt, including lawyers, teachers and salespeople...." - Publishers Weekly

Cover of book

Improving Your Storytelling

Beyond the Basics for All Who Tell Stories in Work or Play

Doug Lipman

For the public speaker, salesman, teacher, pastor or librarian who's already a pretty good talker, this is the guide for taking your story skills to the next level.

  • Works for all public speakers

  • Develops mastery of all aspects of speaking: auditory, visual, and kinesthetic

  • Promotes success through better communication

  • "Lipman's down-to-earth approach allows for flexibility rather than an emphasis on memorization. Advising the would-be speaker to 'think in the present' when performing, Lipman articulates basic concepts in the use of oral language and of imagery and gestures.

    "He believes that retelling a story informally many times helps the speaker determine what is most meaningful about it - a connection he terms the Most Important Thing (MIT), since he firmly believes that a story's meanings flow from the speaker's MIT. "In addition to a sensitive discussion of how to build a relationship with an audience, he also focuses on the importance of warm-up techniques, and numerous anti-anxiety techniques.

    "The best result? In storytelling as in life, one must 'combine the knowledge of how to work toward transformation with the patience to let it happen out of your control.'" - Publisher's Weekly

    "Although the book is full of suggestions for exercises and very practical remedies, it is more than a how-to manual. It teaches the aesthetic and moral principles we must understand in order to make our own informed decisions as responsible tellers." - Territorial Tattler

    224 pages

    You can read excerpts from Improving Your Storytelling, including the Table of Contents and the beginning of Section 5: Putting It All Together.

    Fran Stallings wrote a review for the Territorial Tattler newsletter.

    Elizabeth Herron wrote a blog post / review on Improving Your Storytelling and its implications for teachers of secondary school students. Elizabeth blogs for the Lincoln Center Institute's Resource Center blog. (LCI is the educational cornerstone of Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, Inc.) Here are a few excerpts:

    "In the section titled “Transfer of Imagery,” Lipman...provides a conceptualization of oral, as compared to written, narrative that might help educators and students understand and perhaps newly value the unique opportunities that storytelling provides. He also conveys challenges and offers practical exercises that can help budding storytellers connect with the oral narrative. Tone of voice, gesture, and facial expression are some of the topics covered."

    " thinking about LCI’s focus on imagination in teaching and learning, I see how valuable a resource Improving Your Storytelling can be. As teaching artists and classroom teachers approach curriculum planning for units of study..., there are many sections of Lipman’s book that will illuminate aspects of storytelling and offer ideas for exploration of various storytelling skills."

    "...As a teaching artist working with several arts-in-education groups through out the New York City, I have noticed an increase in programs that include oral history based projects. Improving Your Storytelling offers ideas that could help students develop strategies and skills for this work.

    "Improving Your Storytelling can engage students in a multiple ways. All students, especially the class clowns, might study in the best traditions of our greatest comedian-storytellers. They may elevate their technique beyond one-shot jokes and learn to add nuance and narrativity. One day, maybe they, too, can hold court as they pass down their family history to the next generation."


    Price: $14.95

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    Doug Lipman

    152 Wenonah Road, Longmeadow, MA 01106 U.S.A.
    Phone: (781) 837-1940
    Alternate Phone (rings the same line): (413) 754-6728
    Fax (toll-free): (888) 300-6665

    This page was last updated on Friday, November 28, 2003
    Copyright©2003 Doug Lipman