The Importance of Storytelling : An Outside idea from Fiona Brennan Scott
David Perry brought back a very special memory on Wednesday when he spoke beautifully about The Art of Storytelling. It took me back to my first workshop when I still had one foot in the corporate world and the other starting my own business back in March 2000. Here is the top half of the very basic poster I designed to advertise it.
Like David, I started the day off by asking people to think about the origins of storytelling and painted a picture of tribes gathered around a fire. I imagined that as the hunters returned to their hunting treck, mothers would comfort the children at night by repeating the tales that had been told around the fire – memories of their absent tribesmen keeping them warm at night.
My focus was about how we can use our voices to enhance the stories we tell. The raving fandom around David’s mellifluous tones demonstrates how much delivery means to us as well as content. The good news is that we can all learn to use our voices to engage listeners to our stories.
In the workshop, I talked about how varying our pitch and pace can take our listeners on a journey, how we can use the tone of our voice to set and change the mood, and how inflection and emphasis can help draw out the importance of certain phrases or words. A favourite technique is how the use of silence can be as powerful as the use of speech – the pause! With facial expression and gesture added to the mix, our audience can be entranced as we take them on an unforgettable journey.
Those techniques are still foundational in the work I do. I use them to help current and aspiring leaders to tell their stories, whether in meetings, presentations, or interviews. Why not aspire to developing mellifluous tones of your own? Get in touch if you want to learn in a 121 session or if you’d prefer to be part of a workshop playing with these ideas in a group.
Expression of interest here. And, yes, if you were there on Wednesday morning, this is the story David’s breakout room question inspired!