Posts in Storytelling
Building Connections with Oral Storytelling

Humans have been telling stories face to face since forever, and doing it well gives you a leg up personally and professionally. Compelling business presentations are critical for success, and natural storytelling techniques can take them to the next level. Even outside of business, stories help you build relationships and entertain your friends. You can improve your oral storytelling today by paying attention to structure, shortening your stories, using your voice well, and supporting what you say with your face and hands. 

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Jeff Russell Storytime

One of my favorite memories from the Army is “Jeff Russell Storytime”. It seemed like a silly way to pass the time, but ended up teaching me a lot that I still use today. Out of way too much free time, it evolved into a regular occurrence that we all enjoyed a lot. I got to share some of my favorite gems from history and mythology, and over time I learned a thing or two about storytelling.

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Storytelling Part 5: Resources for Digging Deeper

I’ve done my best to share a fantastic beginner’s guide to storytelling with this series, but there is a lot of depth to all of the topics that I’ve touched on. Below, I provide my recommendations on resources for digging into Story Structure, Effective Practice, Public Speaking, Oral Storytelling, Writing, and Visual Storytelling. In each section, I’ve provided a handful of my favorite “how to” resources, whether books, blogs, videos, or courses along with a section of illustrative examples applying the lessons you’ll learn from the how to books. These lists are by no means exhaustive, and if I’ve missed any of your favorite works on storytelling, please let me know, as I am always hungry for new insights on the topic.

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Storytelling Part 4: Delivery

Now that your story has a great structure and you know what good practice looks like, let’s focus on what you’re actually trying to improve with your practice: the delivery of your story. I’ve gotta tell you, this was the hardest post for me to write in this series because delivery is so dependent on your medium - public speakers care vary much about maintaining their posture and projecting their voice, comic book artists not so much. As I reflected, though, I realized that their are three principles underlying good execution in storytelling regardless of medium: clarity, pacing, and emotion. 

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Storytelling Part 3: Practice, Practice, Practice

However you choose to share your stories with the world, you’ll have to practice to make them look effortless and beautiful. You’ll need to tell more stories and tell each of your stories more times to improve your craft and your tales. To make those repetitions useful, you’ll need feedback as fast as possible, and the best feedback comes from a caring but objective partner. After I dig into each of these topics, I’ll give you a specific playbook for preparing for a speech.

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