Sarah Morgan

Healthcare Geek.
Professional Communicator.

creativity

On Storytelling

Storytellers. Bards. Griots.

Telling stories has always been important.

But we might not realize it so much anymore. We don’t always call it storytelling. Now it gets colder names like “lecturing”. And sometimes “telling stories” has a pejorative connotation, implying that the person doing it is lying.

But I’m interested in storytelling. Professionally, because I give presentations and talks. But also personally, because there’s nothing more fascinating to me than someone who can tell a really good story.

(And when I tell a story, I tend to sometimes get overexcited, just every now and then, and maybe, just occasionally, go off on a tangent or two.

…And now I’ll pause while those of you who know me can roll your eyes at the vastness of that understatement.)

All of which to explain why Brian Andreas (professional storyteller) had me enthralled on the TED blog.

To me, it came down to these three points most of all:

  1. Talk to people like they’re your friends.
  2. Show them pictures and patterns.
  3. Use the ideas of adults but the words of children to point out what’s magical.

I like that last part best. We often get so focused on “but I must EXPLAIN!” that we forget that that’s not usually the point at all.

Knowledge isn’t always a matter of your audience understanding exactly HOW something works. It can be far more important that they understand down in their bones WHY it matters.

Go tell a story today. Make someone care.

Comments

Erin

I firmly believe that story telling is a Clisham trait. If you need proof, talk to my dad for a little while 🙂

NYCWD

Knowledge isn’t always a matter of your audience understanding exactly HOW something works. It can be far more important that they understand down in their bones WHY it matters.

Best advice.

Ever.

“Point out what’s magical.” I LOVE this phrase. It’s so true that in our “adult” way of making a point, we often use too many details and definitely “circle the airport” before coming in for a landing! (Ask Jane how often I circle the airport!) Stories most often don’t need the tiny details when something magical is going on. And I agree with Robert above… in most cultures, our elders are revered for their wisdom and stories. The stories are they way they teach. Fables. Our culture has robbed us of this miracle, and we are suffering for it. Maybe there is some wonderful way to begin the storytelling process again!? Marvelous blog.

Robert

“Knowledge isn’t always a matter of your audience understanding exactly HOW something works. It can be far more important that they understand down in their bones WHY it matters.”

Such great advice. I’m definitely using that to my advantage on future presentations

We don’t live in a world where the elders know more. We don’t sit and listen to them anymore. They seem illogical, outdated and cynical. But I actually enjoyed spending time with my grandfather a few years ago when he would tell me little snippets of his life. Things I never knew about him or the family. Good subject.

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