What is storytelling?
If you've come to this page, then I'd guess you want some clarity about what a storyteller is and what storytelling is about? Even though you're unsure, I promise you do actually know what storytelling is already because it's what makes us human! To be fair, there is a touch of confusion as the word 'storyteller' gets claimed by Actors, Musicians, Artists, Dancers, Photographers and even Wrestlers (to name but a few). Whilst they may use and work with stories, they don't usually 'tell' stories, and that's the difference. Story-telling is an oral tradition that goes back to our earliest times.
Stories are shaping and reshaping the world in which we live.
The need for responsible storytellers has never been so great!
This video from the National Trust is possibly one of the best explanations I've come across regarding why stories are hard wired into what makes us human.
When I use the word storytelling, I mean people speaking to people, sharing tales handed down from generation to generation to ensure the wisdom of the past is carried forward to the present. For me storytelling is a direct connection between people, told in the moment from one heart to another, the sharing of thoughts, memories, ideas and emotions.
We aren't talking about reading from a page or acting out a memorised verse. A storyteller spends a great deal of time working with a story, exploring a story so that it becomes part of them and they a part of the story. When a storyteller tells you a story they are living it in exactly the same way you
re-live your holiday when you start telling everyone at home what happened. Storytelling is subtle but exceedingly powerful; a special form of communication that has deep roots to what makes us human and how we understand our place in the world.
Hopefully this is all starting to sound familiar now, but you might be wondering why you would want to make use of a storyteller like me. Well in this video I use the analogy of stories being a bridge.
You may find yourself drawn to storytelling without fully understanding why and that's because it is in your DNA! Our brains receive an overwhelming and chaotic array of sensory information and the only way we are able to make sense of it, is by converting it into a story. Stories become the shorthand for how our brains perceive the world. Therefore storytelling is how we understand what is happening to us and how we can communicate ideas, values, and meaning to each other. When you share something using story, our brains readily accept it because it's already in a form the brain can understand; this is what makes storytelling so powerful in educational settings, for interpretation, to connect people to place and to challenge ideas and behaviours.
When I first began my work as a storyteller, I simply did it for the love of sharing great stories.
Over time, I came to recognise the responsibility that comes with telling a story. I have witnessed the breathtaking power of stories to create change.
Today, I am committed to the application of storytelling in more impactful and intentional ways,for the benefit of people, place and planet.