Instantly Applied Storytelling | How to become rich and famous and young and beautiful in 30 days or less

By Limor Shiponi

Limor Shiponi StorytellingYesterday I conducted yet another workshop for HRs who wanted to learn how to apply some storytelling principles into their work. I can’t remember how many “applied storytelling” workshops I’ve conducted through the past fifteen years, nor can I tell how many customizations for various professional domains I was requested to perform. It always happens that at some point the people requesting the workshop or the participants themselves, get so worked-up about dissecting what I present into bits and pieces trying to compare them to what they do, that all the happiness disappears. No mind-body-spirit connection, no community or communion – only intellectualization.

Once they think they’ve “got it” – which they haven’t, since storytelling is long gone into ashes under deconstruction and adaptation of irrelevant fragments – they label what they’ve grabbed “storytelling” and from that moment on, they declare they know and do storytelling. Some say they see themselves as storytellers – although when you check their CVs and blurbs, the word “storyteller” is mysteriously absent…

If they want to consult more about storytelling they look for a “storytelling guru” of their own professional kin – or someone rich, famous, even better – connected to a renown organization or brand riding the storytelling hype, that will tell them what they really want to hear: that by doing storytelling (whatever that means by now), they will win friends and influence people and become rich and famous and young and beautiful in 30 days or less.

Now, if that was to be true – how come there is no storyteller leading a life-style that looks like the above promise? that should make people think. But they don’t; instead, they intellectualize. When you do that, you drift away from the real context of things and might land on some cloud, thinking it’s a safe haven, when the only thing actually holding you up is the intellectualization balloon, full of hot air.

Up on that cloud you might think, “those people who call themselves ‘storytellers’ really don’t know how to adapt to modernity. We are the 21st century revolutionaries of storytelling, and they are so behind.”

Yeah, sure, just watch that balloon…

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