The Art of Good Storytelling

storytelling“ENGAGE ME!!!”  This was bellowed by my English 101 professor the first semester of my undergraduate career. Everyone was startled and a bit out of sorts by his reaction. I was very nervous that this guy was mentally unstable and had somehow conned his way through a psych evaluation. Do professors take those? Although I was slightly nervous, I found myself just as intrigued. He was a medium built guy with cropped brown hair and deep eyes filled with excitement. “Now that I have your attention. Welcome to English 101.”

He proceeded to explain his expectations of us and how classes would be facilitated for the rest of the semester. “I yelled engage me in the beginning of class because your writing is your artistry. That is your voice when you are not in front of me. I want to be consumed by your words and feel like I am a part of the story. Take me on this journey with you.”

This encounter stuck with me always. It alerted me to the fact that people love a good story.  This is illustrated by the precedence of the halftime show and commercials played at the Super bowl.  Stories can be told in various ways, such as, traditional oracle storytelling or innovative ways to advertise. A good story keeps you actively involved that time seems to fly. teacher

Storytelling begins with defining the purpose of your message and how you want to engage your audience.  The old adage of “Art Imitating Life” is more than a saying. Stories develop from common themes that have been portrayed in life which creates relatability. That’s why we are able to empathize with the adolescent nervous about the first day of school or the person that dreamt more for their life. Good storytelling captures all these emotions and has us reflect on our own lives. What is good storytelling to you? or Even a story that moved you?

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5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Julie
    Sep 16, 2013 @ 23:22:49

    I love StoryCorps! I always need to have a tissue ready though just in case. This is a really beautiful story that was shared: http://www.npr.org/2012/06/15/155042208/a-single-dad-and-his-unlikely-college-roommate. Stories passed in families from one generation to the next to me are the most meaningful of all since they tell you about your origins.

    Reply

    • mrackley12
      Sep 16, 2013 @ 23:58:00

      Omg…julie that was a beautiful story. That just seems so unreal to me!!! I have a hard enough time juggling my own load without the responsibility of single parenthood. It still amazes me how unwavering the human spirit can be. Is storycorps another blogging site?

      Reply

  2. gsusocialmedia
    Sep 22, 2013 @ 19:25:50

    This was a great way to introduce good story telling. Loved it and truly love the last photo. And thanks Julie for sending us back to the storycorps. They really know how to do it.

    Reply

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