Captivate Your Audience With Transformational Storytelling
4.3 (247 ratings)
Course Ratings are calculated from individual students’ ratings and a variety of other signals, like age of rating and reliability, to ensure that they reflect course quality fairly and accurately.
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Captivate Your Audience With Transformational Storytelling

Discover How The Worlds Greatest Communicators Use Story & NLP Metaphors to Transform Their Audiences Perspective.
4.3 (247 ratings)
Course Ratings are calculated from individual students’ ratings and a variety of other signals, like age of rating and reliability, to ensure that they reflect course quality fairly and accurately.
4,307 students enrolled
Created by Kain Ramsay
Last updated 7/2016
English [Auto]
Current price: $107.99 Original price: $154.99 Discount: 30% off
5 hours left at this price!
30-Day Money-Back Guarantee
This course includes
  • 5.5 hours on-demand video
  • 44 downloadable resources
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
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What you'll learn
  • Understand the psychology of storytelling.
  • Know how to comfortably manage awkward questions and interruptions.
  • Communicate more effectively in both your personal and professional relationships.
  • Develop your stories so that they're more enjoyable to tell, and more enjoyable to hear.
  • Present thought proviking and life changing stories to individuals and groups of all ages.
  • Understand practical methods for building, capturing and maintaining your audience’s attention.
  • Share your greatest life learnings with other people in an enlightening and interesting way.
  • Transform your ability to positively influence your employees, your children, your audience and others.
  • All psychotherapy involves an element of storytelling. Stories can help people to move beyond rigid views about life, enhancing their flexibility of thought. Stories can also enable your audience to reclaim optimism and fuel their imagination with the energy necessary to attain their goals.
  • Prior enrolling on this course have a notebook and pen in preparation for recording bullet points from a number of the stories told - this will enable you to begin shaping and structuring your own stories with greater ease.
  • There are a series of downloadable workbooks and worksheets included in the course. It would be useful for students to have access to a printer.

Every day we are bombarded with stories, be it through literature, films or merely gossip. Stories drive our very existence and enable us to imagine the future. We’re not necessarily talking about folk tales or fables here, were talking more about the metaphors that transform peoples lives.

The tradition of telling stories is as old as language itself, and throughout the ages has been used to communicate wisdom and understanding from one generation of people to another. This course is designed as an aid for those who tell stories to teach and positively influence others.

A wise man once said that, If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten! 'Inspire Your Audience With Transformational Storytelling' begins by breaking down storytelling's secret underpinnings, hidden meanings and exploring the dynamic relationship between you, the story & your intended audience.

By the end of this course you'll be able to:

  • Use More Expressive & Emotional Language in Your Storytelling.
  • Communicate Your Life's Experiences in the Form of Stories.
  • Understand & Engage With Your Audience in a More Intimate Way.
  • Tell Thought Provoking Stories That Win Peoples Hearts & Minds.
  • Develop Your Imagination and Your Core Communication Skills.
  • Improvise for Engaging Your Intended Audience With Greater Ease.
  • Inspire Your Audience With Transformational Storytelling.

Throughout the course, you'll discover easy-to-follow methods for building, capturing and maintaining your audience's attention. You'll acquire easy-to-use techniques for finding, selecting, and preparing your stories/metaphors whether they are your real-life experiences, ones you have heard in the past, or re-delivered stories that you take from this course.

Whether you wish to sharpen your storytelling abilities in the boardroom, at bedtime, in the classroom or even in a therapeutic environment, 'Inspire Your Audience With Transformational Storytelling' has some actionable solutions. Although the context in which you tell your stories may change, these timeless methods will always remain the same.

This course comes with a 100% Money Back Guarantee and is a treat for the heart & minds of those who are new to metaphor/storytelling, & even for those who want to be reminded of the basics.

Who this course is for:
  • This course is not so much a writer's course (with 1-2-3 steps as a way to fulfil a publishing editor's formula) but is more intended for those who want to use stories to influence positively through oral communications.
  • Even if you never plan to communicate in front of a large audience, knowing how to craft and deliver an engaging story allows you to enhance your everyday communications - to your children at bedtime, in your daily conversations, or even in your presentations at work.
  • This course is suitable for those with no teaching or storytelling experience - through to those who regularly deliver presentations to audiences of various sizes.
  • This course will be of great interest to all business professionals who want to improve their communication skills, and to any learner who is about to enter the world of business and wants to develop an engaging and responsive communication style.
  • Teachers, social workers, parents, life coaches, therapists, hypnotists or anyone who wants to influence other people more effectively will benefit from the lessons in this course.
  • This course has not been designed as an aid or inspiration for fiction writers or tellers of fables.
Course content
Expand all 45 lectures 05:50:59
+ An Introduction to Storytelling
5 lectures 13:02

Did you know that the gift of effective storytelling is often one of life's most powerful and envied skills?

Stories have the power and the potential to make us laugh, to make us cry, to enlighten us, to encourage us, to build people up and also to tear people down.

Whether you're a parent, a teacher, an employer, an employee, a manager, an entrepreneur or even a student, a story told poorly can be 'not just annoying' or uncomfortable, but can be a soul destroying experience.

Since the dawn of humanity, human beings seem to have been fundamentally hard-wired for understanding and engaging with stories. You see, it's through these stories that knowledge, understanding, and insight has been passed throughout the ages from one generation of people to another.

The tradition of storytelling is as old as language itself – we've all heard them, we all love them, and all of us have the ability to tell them more efficiently – so this is what we'll unpack and address throughout the course.

Preview 03:56

Use this Learning Log to document your learning throughout the course.

It is not just a diary or record of “What you have done” but a record of what you have learnt, reflected upon and what you plan to action at some point in your future.

Your Course Journal and Reflections Log
14 pages

Storytelling has been called the oldest and the newest of the arts.

Though its purpose and conditions change from century to century, and from culture to culture, storytelling continues to fulfill the same basic social and individual needs.

Human beings seem to have an innate impulse to communicate their feelings and experiences through storying. We tell stories in order to make sense of our world. We express our beliefs, desires, and hopes in stories, in an attempt to explain ourselves and to understand others.

In The Completed Gesture, a book about the importance of story in our lives, John Rouse once wrote, “Stories are told as spells for binding the world together.”

Preview 02:26

Operation: Heart and Minds

Winning hearts and minds is a concept occasionally expressed in the resolution of war, insurgency or other conflicts, in which one side seeks to prevail not by the use of superior force, but by making emotional or intellectual appeals to sway supporters of the other side.

Both the British & American forces applied operation hearts and minds during the 2003 invasion of Iraq. The belief behind this operation was that 'If you can win over people's hearts, they will freely give you their minds.'

If we consider this 'hearts and minds' approach to storytelling, you might be able to see that stories are not intended to engage with people on an intellectual level (minds), but more on an emotional level (hearts).

Preview 03:34

In an ideal world, you'd start your story with an outline, a framework of plot points intended to move your story from A to Z, perhaps with some detours and misdirection, but still always moving forward.

Sometimes, you don't know the end when you start, but when you finish you must revisit the beginning to ensure you started your audience in the right direction.

The alternative is a meandering mess, a story without purpose that lags in the middle and wanders its way to a sluggish end. It's easy to get lost in your own descriptions and forget what needs to happen when; plot points and outlines keep you focused.

Although, some storytellers loathe outlining a story, preferring it evolve organically. That method means revisiting your openings to foreshadow key action points and provide misdirection or actual direction.

Whether you start knowing your end, or discover it when you get there, the beginning of a story should hook your audience as soon as possible. Pointing to the end, obviously or not, is one way to get it done.

Telling a great story isn't easy, but when it's done right it feels like magic.

Preview 03:06
+ Understanding Your Audience
8 lectures 41:02

Storytelling isn't about regurgitating a load of information, but it's a dynamic process where you take your audience on a journey towards seeing the things that you see.

One way of understanding the process of effective storytelling is through the storytelling triangle.

In this lecture, we'll explore what the storytelling triangle is, alongside developing your relationship with the stories you tell and developing the relationship you have with your audience.

Telling a story is a three-way relationship involving you, the story, and the audience.

The Storytelling Triangle (You, Your Audience & The Story)

Powerful stories captivate both the minds and hearts of the people listening.

We all love stories for different reasons. Can you think of a story that resonates with you because of what or who it represents? Does this story reflect part of you? And if you were to retell this story, how would you tell it differently?

Complete the three questions in this worksheet and answer them as honestly as you can.

Worksheet 1: Your Stories
2 pages

Storytelling is an art that takes planning, research, and skill.

The best storytellers make decisions along the way that drive their stories forward, engage their audience, and impart information vital to the telling of their story.

The best storytellers understand this craft and can produce timely stories about virtually anything. By understanding these four stages, you too can tell an interesting, captivating story that will enchant your audience, share valuable information, and engage from beginning to end.

The 4 Levels of Effective Communication

We are all judgmental. And yet, while it is in our nature to be judgmental, it's seldom helpful for anyone!

We often look down on others as if we are so much better, and this creates division between people. Think about it for a second: we see someone, and based on their looks or actions, we pass judgment on them. - usually without even knowing the person.

And that's it — that's usually the extent of our interaction with that person. We don't make an effort to get to know the person, or understand them, or see whether our judgment was right or not.

And let's consider what happens when we pass judgment on people we do know. We see something they do and get angry at it, or disappointed in the person, or think worse of them. We judge, without understanding. And that's the end of it — we don't try to find out more, and through communication begin to understand, and through understanding, start to build a bridge between two human beings.

Can you build a bridge with every single person you meet? Probably not. That takes time and effort, two things that many people can easily fall short on. But I've found that taking that extra time, even just once a day can make an enormous difference.

Understanding this in our storytelling is important to avoid passing judgment and instead, build a stronger bridge between two human beings - which is what we ultimately want to achieve!

The Destructive Nature of Judgement

Whenever I am fortunate enough to see and listen to a great storyteller “live” in action, I am struck by their power to pull listeners in to a story, much like a gravitational force that's impossible to resist.

While I'm not one to overly dissect a pleasant experience, I have pondered what factors contribute to distinguishing a good storyteller from a great one. I've come to believe that the most important ingredient is their use of emotion.

Master storytellers seem to know exactly when to push and when to pull, when to hit the high emotional notes, and when to dig deep in to the soft underbelly of a tale.

Permission Granted to Get 'Fully Emotional'

Children are especially sensitive to tone when telling stories and we all carry the imprint of our mothers saying our name in a “you're in trouble buster” tone – but if you think about it, so are the rest of us!.

Tone and emphasis are so important and even when you speak at a regular volume, the tone of your voice is the single biggest giveaway to your emotion and the emphasis you give an individual word or phrase can completely change the message.

Tone is how we insert sarcasm into an otherwise straightforward sentence.

A single sentence can take on a multitude of meanings when given different tones and when emphasis is placed at different points. Combined, they illuminate the speaker's motives, feelings and also their desires.

Emphasising The Importance of Empashis

Tone and emphasis are so important and even when you speak at a regular volume, the tone of your voice is the primary giveaway to your emotion and the emphasis you give an individual word or phrase can completely change the message you share.

The dictionary defines emphasis in storytelling (although it could be in any form of communication) as “special stress laid upon or attached to anything”.

I don’t want to labor the point (would that put undue emphasis on it?), so I’ll just say that for the purposes of this exercise; I’ll be discussing the most direct form of emphasis: Stressing an individual word or phrase in a story using your voice.

In this exercise, see for your yourself how effective the use of emphasis can be.

Worksheet 2: Practicing Emphasis
3 pages

Of all the philosophers in the Western tradition, Plato is amongst the most celebrated.

One twentieth-century academic characterised the rest of Western philosophy as 'a series of footnotes to Plato'. Socrates' erstwhile pupil is also credited with the invention of the university, and his most famous work, The Republic, is (amongst other things) an educator's handbook.

For Plato, the education of a state's Guardians – its warrior class – was of fundamental importance. In devising his ideal state in The Republic, education is the first issue he considers.

And what is the first subject that Plato addresses on the Guardians' curriculum?

Storytelling. No, really!!!

Plato's Perspective on Storytelling
+ Elements of A Good Story
7 lectures 01:05:37

A backstory is an accumulation, the totality, of the earlier events and histories of those people and things and places that make up your story world.

A backstory is the story of the story. It's the events that transpire before the story events you've chosen to highlight and reveal and invite the reader into. What's in backstory are causes for the events of the story you put on the page. Backstory covers motive and history and the roots of character personality and motivation.

Backstory gives reasons and excuses for events that happen in the now of your story. But the backstory isn't that now. And if you dump too much of the past in at one shot, it slows down the unfolding of the current story, may even deaden the impact of current action and event.

It leaches the emotional power out of the story action that's unfolding on the page in the story's present. Backstory is part of the setup for plot and characters; it is not a substitute for unfolding events.

Backstory is the failing grade from a middle school math class that compelled your protagonist to work so hard at school that he had no time for friends and outside activities, a practice that extends to his lifestyle as an adult.

It's the uninvolved father who turned your female antagonist against men over a certain age so that she only seeks lovers in their twenties. Even though at story opening she's celebrating her fortieth birthday.

It's the holocaust or world war or alien invasion that created the need for martial law that led to the fascist government that rules the world in your dystopian sci-fi series.

Backstory is everything that happened in your story world and to your characters before the point you open that world to readers. It's the setup of your story and what makes your story possible, inevitable or even engaging! It's the history of both your story world and your characters. It's the events and people who have shaped characters and story setting.

Backstory accounts for the why of the story events and actions that occur at the top of your story. It's the explanation for your protagonist's and antagonist's attitudes and motivations and drives.

Introducing the Backstory

These days, we're all overdosed with rhetoric.

A thousand TV channels and movie choices, countless blogs and commentators, countless email blasts, and millions of websites - each one jockeying for a position in our lives, a share of our minds, just 30 seconds of our eyeballs.

Now, more than ever, if you can't tell a story in a way that grabs people's attention, gets across your position, and sticks with them, you may as well just hang it up. It's as simple as that. Of course, a more positive way to look at it is that nothing can boost your career more - or be more fulfilling - than being adept at telling a story and truly connecting with your audience. Nothing!

Using Backstory For Winning Hearts & Minds

It's so disappointing to read a book or watch movie and find a great story idea surrounding a character that we couldn't care less about. It robs the excitement and enjoyment from the tale, and also completely disengages our audiences.

Great ideas deserve great protagonists. Without them, those ideas wither away and die slow, horrible deaths. But we can save our stories from this terrible fate.

At the heart of every story is a person with a problem, and the more compelling that person is, the better the story will be. Flat, boring protagonists lead to flat, boring stories. And no one wants that. We want engaging stories and interesting characters characters - the ones you keep thinking about long after the story is over!

The 'A Person With A Problem' Element

Parables are stories about movement; as metaphors, they do not let us rest, but they move us on toward greater degree's of insight and understanding.

When you hear a parable, you can relate it to your life experiences. Parables convey a message of truth through analogy, comparison or contrast, to change our way of viewing the world, subvert our moral prejudices and make us look at the depth of our character in a new light.

The power of a parable comes from the fact that you recognize that “that's the way it is in real life.”

Parables are great because they offer sound life principles that will usually be easy to remember. Those who tell parables, do so that only those who care about what their meanings are will come to know the truth.

Not so much because they understand the parable, but because they care enough to ask what it means after the story ends, and hang around long enough to have it explained to them in more detail.

Exploring Parables: The Parables of Big J.C.

Your story allows people to connect with you.

Sharing your story allows your audience to connect with you. It builds roads to their 'hearts and minds', and also demonstrates that you are not so different from them.

Your story will also be a big RED STOP sign for members of your audience that aren't right for you ... and this is a very good thing! You want to keep the people that resonate with you, and shoo away those that don't.

That's how you build an audience of people that you love interacting with, and also who love interacting with you.

The Power of Self-Disclosure

The first rule of storytelling is that a story shows more than it tells.

In fact, story showing makes a lot more sense as a term. But that’s beside the point I want to make.

Stories maintain our interest as members of an audience, and if told well, they can pluck at our heartstrings as a conduit of empathy. Authentic stories are an essential tool for engaging with receptive audiences.

It’s no surprise that storytelling is often hailed as one of sales and marketing world's secret weapons!

The business world understands the importance of authentic storytelling, because, if you're unable to genuinely connect with your story, how on earth would anyone else be able to?

Authenticity: Connecting With Your Story

Storytelling is as old as any culture, and it was the primary way of passing along information, long before the written word even existed.

So, what are the common elements of good storytelling?

In this info sheet, I'll share few commonalities of the world's greatest storytellers.

So, What Makes A Good Story? (Info-sheet)
3 pages
+ Storylines
5 lectures 49:41

I was recently chatting to this guy in a local cafe who said that when he and his wife created their Storyline it was the highest point of their marriage.

I wasn't surprised. Story is, after all, a sense-making device. Story helps us understand ourselves and others. It helps us realize where we've been and chart a path for where we'd like to go.

A Storyline is a life-mapping tool consisting of several modules, modules that help you understand yourself as a character, chart the positive and negative turns in your life, anticipate and have a positive attitude about conflict and fuel your life with vision.

Without story structure, our lives feel like they don't make sense. But when you've created your storyline, you're sitting in the theatre of your mind, fully engaged in your own story. You're wondering what's going to happen next, because you know who the character is and where they'd like to go.

The 'Loss and Redemption' Storyline

Comparing and contrasting (before and after storylines) allow listeners the opportunity to recall story events and reflect more deeply on how characters in a story have evolved and changed throughout their journey.

Comparative thinking is one of our first and most natural forms of thought. When we are infants, one of the first differences we must identify is that between mother and 'other'.

Without the ability to make comparisons - to set one object or idea against another and take note of similarities and differences - much of what we call learning would quite literally be impossible.

You may be wondering why we want to look so closely at comparative thinking. What makes it so special?

Well, I hope that by now you have experienced how stories can be used to educate and enlighten, and if you think about it, enlightenment only happens when you see something in a new light that you previously hadn't seen (kind of like the lights going on)!

And yup, you've guessed it ... all of this can happen through a story!

The 'Before and After' Storyline

In these storylines, the main character of the story has discovered something amazing, either about themselves or life.

Epiphanies are the sudden revelation of the essential nature of something; it’s a moment of discovery or recognition when a character realizes something important about life.

The 'Amazing Discovery' Storyline

Question 1) Has anyone every asked you if they could tell you a secret?

Question 2) If so, have you ever said no!

As the answer to this question is most likely no, this illustrates how effective the 'promise' of secret telling can be in regards to our storytelling. Everyone loves a good secret!

The Art of 'Telling Secrets'

You'll find third-person narration in stories where a detached person (someone who isn't directly involved in the action) tells you everything that goes down.

A third-person narrator can sometimes be omniscient, when they have a bird's-eye-view of all the goings on. Or they can be limited, and stick closely to the perspectives of just one or two characters.

The bonus of having a third-person narrator is that we readers aren't trapped inside one character's head. We might gain access to the thoughts and feelings of other characters, and we might get to see what goes down in two different places at the same time. It's a nice dose of perspective that allows us readers to evaluate what's going on with as little bias as possible.

But there are drawbacks, too. For one thing, it can be tougher to sympathise with characters when an author is using third-person narration (particularly when it's omniscient), because the narration is so detached from what's going on in the hearts and minds of the folks on the ground.

The 3rd Person Narrative
+ Communicating Creatively
7 lectures 57:07

Knowing the difference between monologue and dialogue is imperative if you intend on becoming an engaging and compelling storyteller.

A dialogue is when there are two or more people who engage in a conversation. A monologue, on the other hand, is where a single individual speaks out. In this sense, the major difference between dialogue and monologue is in the number of speakers.

A monologue has only a single speaker who dominates the interaction, whereas in a dialogue, there will two or more people exchanging their unique thoughts and ideas.

What is a Dialogue? In day to day life, we engage in conversations with other people. In such situations, ideas are exchanged between one or more people. This is a dialogue because a number of people engage in the conversation. A discussion always needs, at least, two people. Not only in real life, but we also come across dialogues among characters in books, plays and dramas.

What is a Monologue? A monologue is a set of lines spoken by an individual where there is only one-way communication. Unlike in a dialogue, where there is two-way communication, a monologue only focuses on a single individual who is the speaker.

The difference between dialogue and monologue is that a monologue has a single speaker but in a dialogue there is two or more. Also, a monologue only allows one-way communication but in a dialogue, there is two-way communication.

The Difference Between Dialogue & Monologue

Many times we fear that our teaching or public speaking nerves could cause an uncomfortable response when we're asked tough or challenging questions.

This video offers you a foolproof strategy for answering awkward questions with grace, ease and style!

A Strategy for Answering Awkward Questions

An Open Loop is an unfinished thought or story which will leave your audience on a 'cliffhanger' of anticipation, and hungry to hear what happens next.

I do my best to illustrate this throughout the video ... by telling you another story!

The Soap Opera (Open Loop) Sequence

What is it about ‘open loops’ that cause people to want and reach for more of whatever your offering?

And about a month ago it dawned on me while watching TV. I was watching a television show that I did not find terribly interesting, and out of nowhere the power went out. The weird thing was that inside I felt this emotional “want” to find out the conclusion to a TV show I did not even find interesting. But the more I thought about this the more I realised that I did not really want to find out what happened, but wanted closure and resolution.

Even though the show was not very good, it had created some unresolved emotional tension in me. The power going out made me aware of my need to release, resolve, and bring closure to this tension.

So, what I have discovered is that the psychological mechanism behind open loops is in creating unresolved emotional tension. What I have realised is that besides using open loops, there are literally hundreds of ways of creating, and increasing unresolved emotional tension.

It's this philosophy that most TV soap opera's are based upon, where although storylines will often be repetitive and boring, it's the open loops that keep people consistently coming back for more!

The Soap Opera (Closed Loop) Sequence

If you’ve seen the movie 'Inception', you may proceed on ...

If you haven’t seen the movie, you should stop everything you’re doing and watch it. Right now!! ;)

Great stories move beyond spectacle. By crafting character, plot, and theme in such a way that those concepts bounce meaningfully off each other, they grant audiences a deeper insight into the world around them.

Sometimes there is more to a story than simply beating the bad guy. In fact, for a story to be more than merely a tale of exciting exploits, it must find a way to give the audience something it can’t find in the course of their daily lives. Christopher Nolan's: Inception is one such story.

To experience an outstanding example of Inception Storytelling ... Open another browser, buy it on Amazon Instant, and watch it ... you could call this extracurricular activity!

Inception Storytelling Secrets

Creativity lies cocooned inside each of us, often buried by a pile of routine, professionalism, responsibility, and 'grown up' appearance. Sometimes the spark of creativity is dimmed by criticism, duty or simple neglect?

Nevertheless, it is always possible to reawaken your dormant creativity and unleash this as you begin to tell far more creatively visual stories.

The benefits of being more creative will then flow through all of your pursuits, providing you with inspiration for new ideas, new ways of doing things. It will brighten up your stories and engage with your audience on a deeper and far more profound level.

Research shows that presentations which use visual support are more persuasive than ones which do not. Visual aids help listeners understand abstract concepts and allow complex data to be organized and reduced to make a point clearly and concisely.

Furthermore, effective visual support will maintain your audience's interest and increase the likelihood of retention of the material that's being presented.

When it comes to being creative, just use whatever you've got, and there are no rules ... so please feel free to experiment!

Using Whatever You've Got To Illustrate Your Point

One of the questions that I frequently get asked by people who want to use stories to become a more interesting and engaging communicators is, “Where do you find the stories that you use in your courses and presentations?”

And the answer is ...... EVERYWHERE! You've probably noticed that throughout the course so far, I've already told you a load of stories ... well, in this worksheet I'll share with you MY Secret!

Worksheet: Turning A-Haa Moments Into Compelling Stories
2 pages
+ Breaking the Ice
4 lectures 27:05

Icebreakers can be an effective way of starting a training session or team-building event. As interactive and often fun sessions run before the main proceedings, they help people get to know each other and buy into the purpose of the event.

If such a session is well-designed and well-facilitated, it can help get things off to a great start. By getting to know each other, getting to know the facilitators, and learning about the objectives of the event, people can become more engaged in the proceedings and so contribute more efficiently towards a successful outcome.

But have you ever been to an event when the ice breaker session went badly? Just as a great session can smooth the way for a great event, so a bad session can be a recipe for disaster. A bad session is at best merely a waste of time or worse an embarrassment for everyone involved.

As a facilitator, the secret of a successful icebreaking session is to keep it simple: design the session with specific objectives in mind and make sure that the session is appropriate and comfortable for everyone involved.

Telling a good story is always a great way to achieve this!

Ice Breaking: The Short Sharp Shock

Storytellers are in show business, whether they admit it or not and because they like the sound of it, they admit it. So what’s the big deal? Why should you use humour in your storytelling?

Why not just give the audience the facts, figures, your point of view and let them go home ... job done!

A Storytellers role is to bring meaning to the facts, make the figures come to life, to add drama and emotion to the whole event and watch the audience leave… feeling better than when they arrived.

Here are a few of the benefits of using humour in your stories and presentations…

1) Makes you more likeable – this one is a no-brainer. We all like people who make us laugh and believe me; you do want the audience with you not against you!

2) Helps you connect with the audience – as the audience start to relax, they begin to see you as someone they know, a friend.

3) Arouses interest and keeps attention – if the audience has a good time, they want more of a good time, so they will be more inclined to forget about their worries and listen to you.

4) Helps emphasise points and ideas – if you underline the main points of your speech with a little humour, the audience will be more likely to remember what you’ve said.

5) Makes information more memorable – if you illustrate the main points of your speech with a little humour, the audience is more likely to remember those points.

6) Lightens up heavy material – nobody wants to listen to a serious message for twenty minutes but if you start with a little humour, hit the audience with your main message and then finish with something light hearted… they might last the distance.

7) Gives the audience some shuffle time – during the laughter, the audience can walk around and get comfortable in their chairs.

Have I convinced you? I hope so because even a small amount of humour can turn a good story into a great one!

Ice Breaking: Using Humour

Successful humour requires honesty and sincerity. Don't try for a laugh, just deliver your lines and allow your audience to 'take them or leave them.'

I like to think of successful humour as a special gift given with noble intent.

You can incorporate humour in your stories by using a wise choice of words, appropriate emphasis, timing, silence, pauses, vocal variety, non-verbal reactions, and body gestures.

Also, it may seem obvious, but don't forget to smile. Smiling sets a tone of joy. It also lets people know they can take what you just said lightly.

Building Humour Into Our Presentations

All memorable stories have a beginning, a middle, and an end. Make sure that yours do too.

Depending on the situation, you can relate that to the old axiom: First tell the audience what you're going to tell them, then tell them, then tell them what you told them. Sometimes that's included in the story. Either way is fine.

As an option, you can begin ice-breakers to tear down any tension that stands between you and your audience. It can be as simple as a welcome gesture or as involved as an engaging or humorous anecdote. Above all, keep it brief, relevant and appropriate. Don't tell a stupid joke!

After your optional ice-breaker, tell your audience why they're there and what they can expect. This will relieve any tension or anxiety on their part because they're not sure what to expect. That, in turn, will allow them to focus entirely on your story.

If you're sure they already know why they're there, i.e. somebody else provided a substantial introduction, then it's okay to dive right into the story.

Ice Breaking: Offering Immediate Value
+ Purpose Driven Storytelling
7 lectures 51:02

Because everybody loves a good story, if you want to engage your audience on a deeper level, cast your vision to investors, or even pitch your ideas to the world ... you've got to recognize the power and importance of great storytelling!

Here are some quotes on storytelling to help inspire you!

"Stories are a common currency of humanity." - Tahir Shah, in Arabian Nights

"Great stories happen to those who can tell them." - Ira Glas

"The engineers of the future will be poets." - Terence McKenna

"The human species thinks in metaphors and learns through stories." - Mary Catherine Bateson

"Sometimes reality is too complex. Stories give it form." - Jean-Luc Godard

"Story is a yearning meeting an obstacle." - Robert Olen Butler

"If you're going to have a story, have a big story, or none at all." - Joseph Campbell

"Storytelling reveals meaning without committing the error of defining it." - Hannah Arendt

"The stories we tell literally make the world. If you want to change the world, you need to change your story. This truth applies both to individuals and institutions." - Michael Margolis

"There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you." - Maya Angelou

"There's always room for a story that can transport people to another place." - J.K. Rowling

"Storytelling is the most powerful way to put ideas into the world today." - Robert McKie

Telling Stories to Inspire Your Audience

Great stories have a timeless quality, they are outside of time and are therefore relevant to any moment in time. Stories allow the listener to step into a scenario, a situation, a context – the listener becomes the hero.

“Stories are best told in a timeless manner so the listener can decide how best they can be applied to a timely matter. So it is not about true stories. It is about stories that have a truth. Storytelling is best when it moves us from what has happened to what may happen.

Telling Stories to Challenge the Status-Quo

Hearing a story told well can be likened to climbing a mountain. You start by getting familiar with your setting. Next you begin the long, steady climb, with all its zigs, zags, and pitfalls.

The most exciting moment comes as you finally arrive at the apex - and then you descend rapidly down the other side. Your journey ends with satisfaction when you reach the bottom.

As an effective storyteller, how can you take your audience on such an adventure?

The Levels & Stages of Effective Storytelling

Take a moment to consider the stories that have changed your life.

I’m willing to bet many of them were stories of pain, loss, sacrifice, and sin. These are the stories that speak bluntly about hard subjects and force their characters (and their listeners) to face hard truths and, hopefully, walk away from the realisations as someone slightly different and perhaps slightly better.

As storytellers, light humour can be just as important as the stark reality of things. But if we’re going to call ourselves real storytellers, we need to be brave enough to stand unflinchingly before the truths of life, even - and perhaps especially those that don’t end happily ever after.

An audience won’t hate you for telling a sad story (although granted, not all of them will be ready or willing to stomach it). In fact, if you execute it correctly, you have the opportunity to leave an impression with your audience that potentially may carry around with them for the rest of their life's!

Stories With a Happy Ending

The creators of successful TV shows such as House, Dexter, Lost, Homeland, Prison Break and Game of Thrones etc, employ the technique of open loops to keep us glued and addicted to their shows.

However ... every good story must come to an end, and this is the art of 'full loop' storytelling - I'll lead by example here and show you exactly what I mean by this throughout the video.

The Art of 'Full Loop' Storytelling

One of the most common questions I get asked as a storyteller is ‘Where do all of your ideas come from?’ and ‘How do you create a new story?’

Well, throughout this workbook I'll break down the common elements of a good story with note taking space for you to get all of your ideas out of your head and down onto paper.

So here’s where we begin ...

Course Project: Create A New Story
12 pages

Instead of comparing yourself to other storytellers or communicators, create the habit of comparing yourself to yourself.

See how much you have grown, what you have achieved and what progress you have made regarding how you have developed and grown in your abilities over the years.

This habit has the benefit of creating gratitude, appreciation and kindness towards yourself as you observe how far you have come, the obstacles you have overcome and the good stuff you have done. You'll feel much better about yourself as a storyteller without having to think less of how other people tell their stories!

You can make this habit stick by for instance taking a few minutes each day or just each Sunday (or any day that fits you) to use a journal to write down how you have grown, how much closer you are to your goals now, what you have overcome and learned and so on.

By doing so, your thinking will over time shift and your thought patterns will automatically become more focused on comparing you to you rather than to other people.

Don't Fall Into The Comparison Trap!
+ Wrapping Things Up
2 lectures 10:23

No good course would ever be complete without it's very own 'recommended reading list' ... so here goes, take notes, make a budget ... and allow yourself to do some extracurricular shopping on Amazon & Ebay ;-)

Recommended 'Good' Reads

And this final lecture brings us to a close ... for now!

As I mention in this video, I fully appreciate that this course doesn't cover every single aspect and element of storytelling ... however, I have done my very best to include all of the most 'important stuff.'

If there's anything that you'd like me to add to this course, please message me directly, as this will allow me to know what additional lectures to add to the course moving forwards.

But other than this, if you'd be willing to take a few minutes and write the course a review (and rate it), I'd be hugely appreciative - as this will enable future students to make a well informed decision as to whether this is the kind of course that would be of benefit to them,

Other than this, get yourself out there and start telling some stories - and let me know how you get on ;-)

Kindest regards and thanks once again for taking the time to complete this course,


Summary & Closing Thoughts