“People are hungry for stories. It’s part of our very being. Storytelling is a form of history, of immortality too. It goes from one generation to another.” (Studs Terkel)
Jesus was a great storyteller, stories about Him have shaped history and the stories/parables he told 2000 years ago are still with us today, “The Prodigal Son” and “The Good Samaritan” are two that come to mind.
We if as speakers are going to have a lasting impact with our message we should follow the example of Jesus and take storytelling seriously.
But how do I improve your storytelling abilities?
First, hang out with great storytellers. Listen and learn from the way they weave a story and make it come to life and how they pace themselves and use their bodies to drive a point home.
Second, practice, practice, and practice. I came across this site – 750words.com – and it might be of help to you. The idea is to be an online journal for you and challenge you to write 750 words a day. Why not take their One Month Challenge and begin to write your life story? Practice your stories out loud. Often times speakers write for the eye while their message is delivered to the ear.
Third, get a hold of good resources. In my goal of becoming a better storyteller I have read many books and articles on the subject. Here are some that have been helpful to me.
Save The Cat – This is a book about screenwriting by Blake Synder. He got me back to storyboarding my sermons, which I have found very helpful.
5 Storytelling Secrets – An article by Sam Rainer exploring 5 tips to help you with your storytelling.
What Makes This Paragraph So Great – From Donald Miller’s Blog
The Vinyl Cafe – Steward McLean is a master storyteller and has one of the most downloaded podcasts in Canada. I saw him live a couple of years ago as he held 3000 people in the palm of his hand with nothing but his notes and a microphone. Truly amazing!!
If you have any articles/books or great storytellers to suggest please leave me a comment.
Here’s to better storytelling.
“Of all the ways we communicate with one another, the story has established itself as the most comfortable, the most versatile – and perhaps the most dangerous … Assembling facts or incidents into tale is the only form of expression and entertainment that most of us enjoy at age three and age seventy-three.” (Robert Fulford )