in How to become a better storyteller

How will I know I have become a better storyteller?

By Limor Shiponi

At the beginning, G didn’t know what to say. After some pondering, thinking maybe it was about having “really good stories” or a unique style, more invitations to perform, better pay, more programs, a better voice, memory or charisma, I realized the problem was in the question. Not everyone will ‘translate’ a question the way they can answer it with ease. Some people need a question that will help them follow the senses, others need logic – there are several possibilities. If the student is stuck, it’s the trainer’s responsibility to find a better question. This ability comes with experience and at the same time you can use a more structured path, like going through the senses, repeating the question with a diversion: “what will it look like?” “what will it sound like?” etc.

The question that struck a chord with G was “what would it feel like – in your body – when you have become a better storyteller?” He drifted away for a couple of seconds, I could see his body searching for the answer and then he returned with a smile, “It would feel like being a magician”.

So now we know the answer for G.
Your answer might be very different, and whatever it is, it’s ok.

But what does it mean? What does being a magician feel like for G? I asked him to tell me more, to go back to where he found the answer and walk the same path – slowly. “But you can do magic,” said G, “can’t you just teach me what you know?” “Maybe I can,” I replied, “the thing is there are many levels of magic and many uses for it. Say you want to shape-shift and become a lion, I teach you too little magic and you become a rat. Will you feel like a magician?” G laughed. He got the message: he’ll have to answer the question as accurately as possible.

“Being a magician feels like…” G was searching again. His arms moved slowly, upwards and into the space in front of him, his palms tilted as if trying to collect a feeling of resistance that will give him a sense of power. “Being a magician feels like… I can discern every nuance of intention… and make it work for me upon desire and command… so I can better bring up the visions of the story I’m telling to… to… to… see in your eyes… it’s actually happening. My goodness, it’s real. I’m standing on top of the world right now,” he said. After a few seconds I could see the vision disappeared and G was left with the impression and adrenalin.

Now, leaving G aside for a moment, if I’m an experienced storyteller, I intuitively understand what he is looking for. Still, with all my experience, I might be ‘reading’ G’s intentions from where I’m standing, not from where he is. That’s dangerous, because it can result in taking the wrong path. It might turn counter-productive and very frustrating. So the next thing I’ll want to do with G is get some tangible language to help draw a clear map.

Still, this answer he gave me is very important. Try not to skip the intuitive, as vague as it might sound. For someone on a quest, that answer is his northern-star, his inner calling or however you choose to name it. Look up into the sky, look into your heart, look wherever you need to look and find the answer for “how will I know I have become a better storyteller?”

Next: 6 questions I ask every training storyteller

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    […] How will I know I have become a better storyteller? | Limor's Storytelling Agora From http://www.limorshiponi.com – Today, 9:11 AM At the beginning, G didn’t know what to say.I love this piece because of the question it asks! We get so focused on the doing doing doing of storytelling in our business, we rarely step back and ask ourselves, "How do I know I'm getting better at storytelling?"This article comes from my colleague Limor Shiponi in Israel. Limor is one of the deep thinkers on the planet about storytelling and I highly prize her insights. It has been way too long since we've chatted and I miss hearing her magical voice and articulate thinking. In the meantime, I am delighted to share this piece with you.Usually, if we are getting results in our business, we are happy. But if we don't periodically ask ourselves the question, "How will I know I have become a better storyteller?" our results — when they fade (the normal ups and downs of business cycles) — may be due our storytelling skills or something entirely different. If you are not clear on how you'll know when you've become a better storyteller, in a down cycle you may start fixing the wrong things. Maybe your storytelling skills are fabulous but your marketing process is inconsistent. Maybe your marketing is awesome and your storytelling sucks. Without asking and paying attention to the question this article poses, you'll never know where to place your attention.I ran across this article about 2 weeks ago and really took the time to ask myself this question. I came up with an answer and kept testing it out to make sure it was real. Here's my answer:I know I will have become a better storyteller when I continually feel that resonance between me and my audience, and when people connect with me once they have heard one of my stories. That's not very flowery language, but it does the trick for me. I can see several images in my minds eye of what this looks and feels like.Now my experience can happen face-to-face or electronically. But of course, the best way to know if I've become a better storyteller is through live interaction. So practice practice practice your business stories with real people to build your skills and effectiveness.OK — that's me. Now it is your turn. How will you know you have become a better storyteller? What does that look and feel like for you?Happy explorations :)This review was written by Karen Dietz for her curated content on business storytelling at http://www.scoop.it/t/just-story-it […]

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