Dixie Darr

In presentations, writing on January 3, 2007 at 8:54 am

Tell Me a Story

Tell me a fact and I’ll learn. Tell me a truth and I’ll believe. But tell me a story and it will live in my heart forever. Italian Proverb

The way we communicate with and learn from one another is by telling stories. When we get together with friends, we swap stories. Daniel H. Pink points out in A Whole New Mind that the way we get trained on the job is through stories. The veteran will tell the newbie, “Once I did that and got in a lot of trouble. Mr. Hanks had to call the fire department…” and so on.

One way to improve your communications skills is to learn how to tell stories better. Lucky for you, there are tons of information available to help you do just that. Here are a few of my favorites:

Maybe the best book ever written on crafting stories is Story by Robert McKee, which is actually about screenwriting. His analysis of the minute details that go into putting together a good solid story will also work for writers, speakers, and teachers.

WikiHow, a website filled with free short tutorials on a mind numbing number of topics, offers How to Write a Short Story. Its sister site, eHow, offers advice on How to Generate Short Story Ideas.

Professional storyteller Chris King publishes a free enewsletter and articles about storytelling. If you get interested enough to immerse yourself, check out the Society of the Muse of the Southwest, which offers a storytelling festival in Taos, New Mexico, every fall.

Spend one day writing down all the stories you hear throughout the day and you agree with poet Muriel Rukeyser, who said, “The universe is made up of stories, not atoms.”

©2006 Dixie Darr. All rights reserved

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