Storytelling is such an important part of delivering a presentation that it deserves some study. The Moth is a great place to start. They’ve collected hundreds of stories told by people who range from the very famous to the not-famous-at all that you can listen to online or download to your iPod. As you’ll learn from the intro to the recordings, the shows are originally told live on stage, without notes, in front of an audience. Not exactly the most forgiving format, but I haven’t heard a poorly delivered one yet.
Obviously these storytellers are putting some thought and practice into these presentations. They can be funny, sad, shocking and thought provoking– sometimes all in the same story. And listening can help you get a better idea of how a good story works. I find them really motivating. Not only are they great entertainment, but they make me want to do a better job of telling my own stories; they even make me want to go out and find new stories to tell. Some of them are truly inspirational– check out Johnathan Santlofer’s tale of how a heatbreaking loss wound up changing his life.
You can listen in on The Moth’s website, or sign up for their podcast below. Oh, and if you’re still living in the last century, they even sell CDs!