The Art of Storytelling: Easy Steps in Presenting an Unforgettable Story by John Walsh
“Storytelling is not just for children. It is an advanced method of communicating with people, both publicly and one-on-one.”
The Art of Storytelling is brimming with activities and step-by-step instructions how to improve your communication skills. All of us tell stories whether we realize it or not. Besides the retelling of the tale about “the big one” that got away, we may share an interesting story or picture we saw on Facebook or Pinterest with friends or family. Perhaps you want to convince a friend to see a favorite movie, watch a certain DVD, or read a book you enjoyed. You may have a project in school to present to a classroom of peers. Some may need to present a project or goal in a committee meeting or to a supervisor. A job interview needs good conversational skills. You may work in children’s ministries, or want to get more out of your Bible reading.
One key to good storytelling is knowing your audience. Did you know that men and women receive information differently? Men tend to think in pictures; women tend to think in words. Some people are analytical thinkers while others are story thinkers. Knowing this makes a difference how you communicate with others. Another key in keeping the attention of your listeners is to allow them to experience the story, lesson, or presentation. If your listeners are engaged, their attention is riveted. It is the difference between just hearing and truly listening.
There are three parts to this book. The first section presents the steps necessary to craft a captivating story. There are many tips and tidbits, activities and exercises that make this process fun. Section Two is about the tools we need to present a captivating story. The author’s experiences are invaluable here and imminently practical. I have been an upper elementary teacher, Junior church leader, CEF worker, children’s choir director, AWANA leader, etc. and so much of the book resonated with me. Most of what’s written I had to learn the hard way (making lots of mistakes). But there was still plenty of information I did not know when I read this.
The third part of the book offers some practical examples and applications. The author introduces a concept called Bible Telling. Mr. Walsh shares with his readers a technique of biblical storytelling he has developed and used around the globe. The experiences he shares in the final chapters are intriguing and the results gratifying for those of us who have a heart for missions. I personally believe this book is a must read for all church ministry workers.
I loved this book. It is easy to read and immensely interesting. It is well organized so that you can find segments you need to return to later. I am excited how this information and know-how can apply to all kinds of communication in our every day lives.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary review copy of this commentary from the Story Cartel on behalf of the author. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”