Thursday, July 30, 2009

Storytelling

I wrote a post on my work blog about storytelling. I think that 'storytelling' is my skill/talent/passion. Whether it's in song, the written (or spoken) word, for entertainment or for business.

When I write articles (and quite a few have been published I am not shy in saying), I still access that 'storyteller' part of me to deliver my business message in an accessible way.

And the posts on here - they are 'mini-stories' too. Some recount my exploits, some are just reflections. But if you wonder why I post my writing on a blog that probably very few people read, the answer is simple: I am a storyteller. I have to keep writing and telling stories (even when no one is listening).

When my kids were little I made up all sorts of adventures and characters to tell them at night; for example The Emerald Isle was populated by extremely clever and magical horses (for my daughter). I used the stories to help calm and relax the children, to get them to use their imaginations - asking questions as well as 'telling'. "Well, what colour do you think Starlight's mane was?" and the child's answer was always right, of course.

Writing a book or an article a great way of delivering your message, but by storytelling you can engage on a totally different level. I'd love to try proper storytelling one day - there are lots of professional storytellers out there. A really good storyteller can entrance an adult audience as well as a young one.

When I sing one of my story songs, I usually have a chorus that people can join in. I want to bring people in to my world, engage them directly in the story - perhaps why I personally prefer songs just to instrumentals. The power of the word, without the picture, is that the listener's imagination provides so much more of the 'fill'.

When you see a film, watch TV or visit a live performance, everything is provided for you. Sound, action, character, visual and also (think of cinema or theatre) other senses are engaged too - smell, touch, temperature... we are given a full range of sensory experiences that leaves the imagination very little to play with.

Perhaps that's why I love reading books and listening to radio plays. The characters are built in my imagination, as I like to see them. Everything is set up in my head - from the huge country house for the murder play, to the hot desert sands in the action adventure. I have, of course, plenty of references to build these images from.

I love storytelling and I love reading - fiction, biographies, historical, factual, business, leisure... the power and versatility of language is what fuels me.

Check out the storytelling article on my work blog - I'm always grateful for comments: http://www.thecompletetrainer.blogspot.com/
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