Why You Should Stop Pitching and Tell Stories Instead

I’m anti-pitching. Apples have become my metaphor for pitching. When you develop a pitch, it’s like buying a basket of apples. You pick out the best apples of the season. You polish them individually. You even ask a couple of friends to taste your apples and tell you if they like how they taste. Then […]

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Self-Editing your Social Media

Everyone’s on social media and some people seem to mix the personal and the professional fairly willy-nilly. It’s not just Hollywood stars showing us their kitchens but also entrepreneurs posting gifs of themselves dancing with their babies. The personal and the professional are more intertwined than ever these days. If you’re posting on social media […]

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How TED talks have changed since 2006

This week, I watched Sir Ken Robinson’s TED Talk, Do Schools Kill Creativity. My grand plan is to watch all the talks on the top 25 list in order to practice sketch noting and story analysis and Robinson’s was the first on the list. Robinson’s message is still an important one. Creativity matters. Children are […]

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The Story Diagram at the Core of the StoryCraft Method

Today, I want to give you a tool for improving your stories. It’s a diagram to show you what your story should look like. I draw it on chalkboards and flip charts and white boards and paper everywhere! This diagram is the core of my approach to storytelling. I use it to plan my stories […]

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Are you the missing ingredient in your stories?

If you’ve been to one of my workshops or met me in person at all, chances are I’ve lobbed a personal anecdote in your direction. It’s not that my life is so fascinating, but it’s the material I have to work with, so why not make the best of it? What am I likely to […]

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You should learn storytelling through fairy tales

Sometime last fall, I decided to use fairy tales in my storytelling workshops. It wasn’t one of those careful choices that one makes based on some kind considered decision-making process. It was something I threw out in a conversation because I found it entertaining to ask academics to talk about Little Red Riding Hood. My […]

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A little book with big ideas about storytelling

The Mystery Feast isn’t a book I went looking for. I suspect it found me. I was aware of Nigerian author Ben Okri as any Booker Prize follower must be aware of him. His novel The Famished Road won the Booker Prize in 1991. However, my interest became more specific last summer. I spent a […]

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Use storytelling to enhance language learning

This post is a supplement to my Deskundigheidsdag presentation at In’to Languages at Radboud University. Authentic teaching materials are everywhere if you’re a language teacher. There are newspapers, websites, and textbooks galore if you are looking for non-fiction or literary texts to work with. These texts are impersonal. They do not tell individual stories and […]

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Seeds to Stories: my storytelling workshop experience

This summer, I travelled with my children by train from the Netherlands, under the English Channel via the Channel Tunnel to London and then south to Forest Row, in Sussex. There, we attended a week-long event at Emerson College. Among other things, I took part in a storytelling workshop led by the gracious and talented […]

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