By Matthew Dicks
*A Book Review*
by Michael C. Gray
© 2022 by Michael C. Gray
Imagine being able to tell stories so that people become emotionally invested. Instead of being bored and looking for someone else to listen to or something else to do, they stop to hear the rest of the tale. They might shed a tear for a sad moment, shudder in horror for a scary moment, and laugh with relief in a lighter moment.
Like most other arts, storytelling is a skill that can be learned. It takes effort, persistence and practice. Like learning to play the piano, few of us have the desire and patience to really master this skill.
There are practical applications that can yield great rewards. Most great salespersons are also great storytellers. They use stories to show their clients how they can benefit from what they offer, and what disaster can befall them if they don't make the right "yes" decision. Instead of lecturing, parents, teachers and ministers can suggest their lessons by incorporating them into stories.
The stories that interest others are often drawn from our own lives. According to author Matthew Dicks, one of the greatest benefits of learning this skill and working at it regularly is examining your own life. Socrates said, "The unexamined life isn't worth living." This is a practical way to examine your own life, searching for nuggets that will interest others. When you talk about something that happened to yourself, it's non-threatening to others. Everyone loves human interest stories.
There is a competition, called The Moth, that provides a forum for speakers to practice their storytelling skills. Matthew Dicks is a thirty-six-time Moth Story SLAM champion and a five-time GrandSLAM champion.
He didn't start out that way. He was a fifth-grade teacher without much public speaking experience, except as a DJ at weddings. With practice, he learned how to craft his life experiences into fascinating stories.
In Storyworthy, Dicks shares the tips he has learned.
How to identify a "theme" or lesson learned from an experience.
How to use creative license to increase audience interest.
How to "prune" details that don't contribute to your story.
The book is salted with Dicks's life experience stories. You'll know what I mean by shedding tears, shuddering with horror and laughing with relief.
Get a copy of Storyworthy and start using these tips to share experiences in your own life.
Buy it at Amazon: Storyworthy: Engage, Teach, Persuade, and Change Your Life through the Power of Storytelling.
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