"Become aware what is in you. Announce it, pronounce it, produce it and give birth to it." - Meister Eckhart

01 April 2015

Day 1 of the A to Z Challenge: Storytelling Tips, Techniques and Reflections from a StoryCoach

Today marks Day 1 of the Blogging from A-Z Challenge

A is for the Audience

"Take the story to the people. Try not to have tables, lecterns, or other furniture between you and your audience. Move toward them. Make eye contact with individuals at key points in the story. If telling to children, keep your story simple and not too long. Exercise their attention spans, don't wear them out. If you forget something, don't be afraid to ask the audience what comes next. Don't look down—this cuts off your eye contact. Instead, look slightly upwards to the realm of inspiration. The audience will still feel your connections and the 'story angels' or 'ancestors' will likely help you out.

Show, don't tell. This old adage reminds us that stories work best if we remember to show our audience what our story characters are thinking, feeling and doing. By showing them rather than always telling, the audience have to use their imaginations to recreate the story in their minds. Stimulate their imaginations with vivid pictures, sounds, smells, tastes and feelings. If a character is angry try showing them rather than telling them. Varying vocal tones, body movements, gestures and facial expressions are your tools of the trade and create dynamic tales guaranteed to engage and entertain your audience."

Extracted from my forthcoming e-book The ABCs of Storytelling by Michael Williams, StoryCoach

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"We have received only very positive reports of your workshop, and must thank you for being so flexible and responsive both before and in the course of implementing the workshop. It has been lovely to work with you. . . . We are hopeful this project will give rise to future storytelling endeavours, and would be very happy to work with you again if the opportunity arises!" Muireann Crowley, At Home in Scotland, University of Edinburgh, May 2014 ("Storytelling, Research and Public Engagement" workshop)

Michael Williams is a a storyteller of compelling skill. He is also a fine human being who engages in all situations and draws people into the warmth of communication and shared experience." Donald Smith, Director, Scottish Storytelling Centre, Edinburgh Scotland

"Michael's understanding of storytelling within a leadership and business context has helped us provide a great service in helping leaders determine their personal and organisational destiny and legacy. Working with Michael is inspiring and fun; and pulls you to be fully engaged from start to finish." Norton Bertram-Smith, Managing Director and Leadership Consultant for On Purpose.

Kamink: the little boy who grew into a giant of a man

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