Accumulative wisdom and the Golden Fleece of Storytelling

By Limor Shiponi

I’m attaching to this post my research paper created for the graduation assessment process at ICA -the coaching school I’ve been attending for 2.5 years. The idea was to try and find wisdom by using a survey as a coaching power tool. Discussing core issues in storytelling has always been a touchy subject which is a main reason to my opinion for this form of art getting stuck in a way. So I thought, if wisdon can not be discussed because it ends with the declaration “says who?”, maybe we can accumulate wisdom and see what happens. I’m encouraging you to read the entire paper – 2,000 words long with two appendixes¬†– which is not that much. But if you fancy not to, here is the answer to one of the core questions presented in the survey. If you are a storyteller you might be moved by this list. If you are not one – well, tell me what you see here.

Components important for a storyteller in decending order of intensity

Sense of story, interest, passion, perseverance, intention, communication skills, listening skills, authenticity, observing skills, presence, desire, love/care for others, being approachable & welcoming, practice, non-manipulative motivation, self-awareness, being humane, voacl skills, respect for language, self-confidence, wisdom, courage, ability to cooperate, experience, marketing skills, being fun, charisma, clear identity, natural talent, understanding what creates drama, spatial intelligence, dramatic skills, visual intelligence, movement skills, the ability to move between different layers of language, large repertoire, humbleness, knowledge in other fields, spirituality, facial mimics, theoretical knowledge, knowledge of own family background, peacemaking ideology, ability to train others, physical fitness, ideology of any kind, ethnical identity, good looks, religious identity.

As it goes, when we read a list like that we think first of all about ourselves – comparing. That’s fine but try and think about as many storytellers you have ever listened to and see how they meet this list. The top item – sense of story – in no doubt the main component for a fine storyteller – and I have spoken to many all around the world. In fact, it enfolds many other components on the list.

I’ll be happy to read your input on this.


5 thoughts on “Accumulative wisdom and the Golden Fleece of Storytelling”

  1. Hello Limor;

    First let me say what a nice thing it was to meet you at the National Storytelling Conference in St. Louis. Did you like the CDs?

    That’s a great list, you have posted. In my upcoming book, “From the Language of Wolves” I discuss similar items and talk about authenticating those features in a story and yourself. I think that a large part of storytelling is not just the story ie words but the personification of the story through our actions, eyes, voice and of course the interpretation of the story.

    I am hoping you have a wonderful day and always safe journeys. Right after the Conference, I went to the woods of Arkansas for some private time… camping.

    Something wonderful happens to me when I get out in the forest and pitch a tent. It happens every time, more later. Write back if you please.

    warm regards

  2. Hi Buck,

    Nice to see you here and thanks for coming for a visit.

    After the conference I arrived home streight into an intensive period of work and family. It’s always like that when I go abroad. Only tonight starst that lovely time when I can unpack my memories from the trip and attend all the gifts I’ve received. Gifts are also special moments and people. These are so dear to me that I like taking the time to attend them with full attention.

    So I haven’t heard the CDs yet but I’ll treat myself to them in a few minutes. Thank you for your generousity and plainspoken kindness. You moved me deeply and in a joyful way.

    Going to listen… regards, Limor.

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