Sunday, May 07, 2006

Curious about Storytelling: Do You Know and Use Its Power?

Paul Lansky wrote, “Storytelling captures an aspect of childhood experience when being told a story was a common ritual. It's a warm place for most of us and in some ways represents our first experience in really listening.”

I just returned from our O.O.P.S! (Ohio Order for the Preservation of Storytelling) Annual Conference and am riding high on the power I derive from stories - hearing them, telling them, reading them and working on them.

Many of you already know that I am a Professional Storyteller. What doe that mean? It may be hard to believe, but people and groups hire me and other Professional Storytellers to perform, entertain, inspire, motivate and teach by sharing all kinds of stories, orally. We tell to all ages and have repertoires of many kinds of stories - traditional tales, folk and fairy tales, personal stories, original stories, business stories, leadership stories, and more.

For a plethora of free articles about storytelling, visit my storytelling information site, visit .

A good storyteller creates word pictures and narrative that brings the stories to life for the listeners.
  • All of my paintings are about stories and language. Storytelling always comes first. And in particular, I'm a storyteller working with folkloric and mythic materials.” - Terri Windling
  • Artists should always think of themselves as cosmic instruments for storytelling.” - Ted Lange
  • Visual storytelling of one kind or another has been around since cavemen were drawing on the walls.” - Frank Darabont
  • I love the possibilities of language, the gracefulness and suppleness of English, so while storytelling is - make no mistake - hard work, it is also a form of play.” - Dean Koontz

Stories grab our attention. Everyone loves a good story. We truly listen to stories, internalize them and remember them. Stories make us laugh and make us cry. They enrich our life and our art.

  • Well-known professional teller, Donald Davis, said, “Storytelling is not what I do for a living - it is how I do all that I do while I am living.”
  • Storytelling is an ancient and honorable act. An essential role to play in the community or tribe. It's one that I embrace wholeheartedly and have been fortunate enough to be rewarded for.” - Russell Banks
  • It's all storytelling, you know. That's what journalism is all about.” - Tom Brokaw
  • Storytelling is the most powerful way to put ideas into the world today.” - Robert McAfee Brown

When I speak about the Power of Storytelling, I mean “across the board.” If we use stories in our press releases, both the editors and the readers will read them with interest. If we use stories in our marketing and sales materials, potential clients will sit up and take notice. If we write our business’ case studies people will enjoy and remember them. Use stories when you are presenting - whether or not it is a speech or a sales presentation.

As you get used to using stories daily, you will become more and more prepared, your stories will become more polished and interesting and people will be drawn to you and your stories.

Let me leave you with a couple of storytelling quotations for you to consider during this upcoming week.

  • Surely the job of fiction is to actually tell the truth. It's a paradox that's at the heart of any kind of storytelling.” - Jeremy Northam
  • "The disciplines of storytelling require that I shape, out of the monotony and everyday life of espionage, something that has a beginning, a middle and an end. That's already contrary to the reality." - John Le Carre

Have a great week! And, do work on at least one story and then tell it to friends and family members.