The Art of Storytelling: From Parents to Professionals
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The gift of storytelling may be one of life's most powerful-and envied-skills. A story well told can make us laugh, weep, swell with pride, or rise with indignation. A story poorly told can be not just boring or uncomfortable, but positively painful to experience. Humans seem to be fundamentally hard-wired for stories-they're how we record both the monumental events of life and the small, everyday moments.
The oral storytelling tradition is as old as language itself. Throughout history, stories have primarily existed in the verbal realm, preserving and passing knowledge across generations before being canonized in print. This was true of the ancient epics, and it's true today. Your family history, your company's history, the stories you tell that define and shape your identity-these are all stored in your mind and shared through your actions and words.
And being a gifted storyteller has its advantages: A well-crafted narrative can keep the people, values, and life lessons you hold dear alive and give you the power to influence your children, your employees, and others.
There are many reasons we relate and respond to stories. We're often drawn to
what or whom the story represents;
how the story reflects a core part of who we are (or who we want to be); and
what the story could be-because we don't like the reality of what the story is.
So how do you tell stories that stick-in your own mind and in the minds of your family, friends, colleagues, and clients?
That's precisely what you'll learn in The Art of Storytelling: From Parents to Professionals, an enthralling course that reveals the tried-and-true methods experienced storytellers use to develop and tell engaging, entertaining, and memorable tales. In 24 lectures, Professor Hannah B. Harvey demonstrates how to master the art form's basic principles with the same witty, dynamic energy that has made her an internationally recognized professional storyteller and award-winning educator.
Even if you never plan to set foot on a stage, knowing what a professional storyteller does in the process of crafting and delivering a tale allows you to enhance the stories you tell everyday-to your children at bedtime, in your conversational anecdotes, and in your presentations at work. Teachers, lawyers, clergy, coaches, parents, and anyone who wants to understand the power of stories to capture hearts and minds will benefit from the lessons presented in this course.
Find Your Own Story
Professor Harvey calls the act of creating a story performance an "alchemical process" that involves an interconnected cycle of talking, writing, imaging, playing, and rehearsing.
You'll begin your exploration of this layered chain of events by breaking down storytelling's secret underpinnings and examining the dynamic relationship between you, the story, and the audience, known as "the storytelling triangle."
This course introduces you to practical methods for building dynamic tension and capturing-then maintaining-your audience's attention. You'll acquire tips and techniques for finding, selecting, and preparing stories, whether they're based on your own experiences, time-honored folk tales, or beloved family yarns.
You may be surprised to discover how many small, virtually imperceptible decisions go into the telling of a good story, right down to the way you emphasize certain words. For example, a far richer picture is painted when you say "the door creeeeeeeeaked open," instead of stating "the door creaked open." That's because the former enhances "sensorium," allowing the audience to fully visualize what you're describing.
You'll also learn to
choose expressive language;
craft compelling characters;
refine your narrator's point of view;
shape your story's plot, structure, and emotional arc;
develop imagery, vocal cues, and intonation; and
use body language to connect with your audience.
1. Telling a Good Story
2. The Storytelling Triangle
3. Connecting with Your Story
4. Connecting with Your Audience
5. Telling Family Stories
6. The Powerful Telling of Fairy Tales
7. Myth and the Hero's Journey
8. Tensive Conflict and Meaning
9. Giving Yourself Permission to Tell
10. Visualization and Memory
11. Discovering Point of View
12. The Artful Manipulation of Time and Focus
13. Narrator-Bridging Characters and Audience
14. Developing Complex Characters
15. Plot and Story Structures
16. Emotional Arc and Empathy
17. Varying the Narrator's Perspective
18. Vocal Intonation
19. Preparing to Perform
20. Putting Performance Anxiety to Good Use
21. Adapting to Different Audiences
22. Invitation to the Audience-Mindset
23. Keeping Your Audience's Attention
24. Remember Your Stories-The Power of Orality
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