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Swanagon's Storyteller Tips
Transcript of Swanagon's Storyteller Tips
Tips for Storytelling “Not everybody realizes they are a storyteller so there are different tips for them and those who understand that they are.”
(Prezi by Katelyn Sweigart) First and Foremost
Tip #1 Realize you ARE a storyteller. "We are a species of storytellers, that’s more than anything else that differentiates us from other animal species." “If you think back upon the events of your day, people that you’ve encountered today, you’ve told a number of stories. And even if you haven’t encountered anyone today, you’ve told yourself stories in your own internal dialogue.” Tip #2 Know when you are telling a story. “We have the creative ability and artistic license to really consider the story that we want to tell about ourselves and to craft it in such a way that it fully reflects who we are.” Tip #3 Know that stories put your life into context. "Many things, especially for college students, are new experiences that have an impact on their world view and they need to recontextualize." Who do you tell?
People who know you Tip #4 Stories have a past, present and future "From that, we can make choices about how we want to (live our lives). What kind of stories do we want to tell in the living and the present? Is THIS the kind of decision I want to make such that THIS will be the story of my life or is THIS the kind of decision I want to make such that I will be telling THIS story? Tip #5 Stories make up our future. "...in crafting that future story for ourselves, it gives us a pathway to follow. It gives us a way to lean into our future and then again making those kinds of choices that we make such that we are making choices that take us further into our future story." "Awareness of the way that a story is operational in our future and in order to be able to fully actualize what our dreams, our goals, and our intentions are for outselves, we need to have a fairly good story crafted for that." "The story of our past...is how we are putting our lives into context."
"The story of our present....is being aware that as we are living, we are creating our own story. And becoming more aware of that creation in the moment can affect our behavior. How do we want to tell our stories with the living of our lives?" "We being to feel maybe a little depressed, a little out of sorts, maybe a little disconnected. So we have to make sure we're doing that. Even a conscious effort, 'Oh, I need to tell my story to someone!'" You're a storyteller now!
Here's 4 tips on being a better storyteller. #1 Find the right story. "To tell a story you're not connected with would be a mistake or difficult to tell in a really effective way." "Find a story that speaks to you and find a story you want to speak. It's a symbiotic relationship." #2 Learn the story. #3 Richly visualize the story. "It's important to tell the story as if it were a memory of our own. Not to memorize the story, but to develop a relationship with the story such that the story resides in our imaginations as a memory of an event that we actually experienced." "The better we can image the story, the better we can visualize the details in the story...it will allow us to more easily describe events, to describe the setting and also to immerse ourselves within the story itself. We are a vehicle for projecting the story." #4 Match your eye contact with your story. “Before their audiences, (the storytellers) disappear. The stories are co-created between the audience and the storyteller. So the audience is not looking at the storyteller, if the story is told effectively, the audience is visualizing the story that is being projected out there.” "That one person will get all of your emotion, and they don't deserve it." Find people that can give you energy, the most response, and connect eyes with them when your story calls for it.
Treat the audience as one entity, don't convey all your emotion to just one person. Now go forth and craft your story! About Russell Swanagon: “It takes a special teller to take people into areas that are dark and painful without losing their listeners...Russell is one of those rare tellers that are able to take people to places that are darker and more demanding.”
-Elizabeth Ellis, Swanagon's former mentor “I think it’s wonderful that there are people like Russell keeping storytelling alive, because it’s been around for a long time and it deserves to be part of the culture.”
-Bob Liepman, musician Cal Poly SLO liberal studies professor
Former elementary school teacher
Former bookshop owner
Former President of the Cambria Chamber of Commerce
A Virgo "Cal Poly is lucky to have them in their department and teaching at their school, and we're lucky to have him in this community."
-Chris O'Connell, lead musician at Hospice Partners