I love giving workshops. Over the years, my workshops have shifted from an opportunity for me to teach towards an adventure in which we explore a topic together. The terrain may be familiar to me, but like any journey you’ve undertaken hundreds of times, a new companion always makes it new again.
Let me tell you what you can expect if you embark on this journey with me. If you participate in a StoryCraft workshop, expect to work. Why? Because doing is the best way to learn.
In a StoryCraft workshop, expect to talk, discuss, write, draw, and move around.
When you do something, you internalize it. If you do it actively, by talking, moving around, writing, or drawing, your body experiences it as well.
We’re going to start by looking at structures. The storytelling structure I work with is deceptively simple. However, it’s like learning Pythagoras’s theorem or pi or the golden ratio. You cannot unsee story structures once you’ve learned them.
To teach you these structures and tools for using them, I’ll introduce a concept, give you a brief explanation and an example or two and then set you to work with fellow workshop participants. Your learning will happen as you work with the concept and when we discuss the questions that arise.
Workshop participants and clients tell me that the work we do together changes the way they tell and listen to stories in all kinds of context. They were inspired and activated. I want you, too, to walk away with a desire to tell stories and tell them well.
I want storytelling to get under your skin and give you a different way of looking at and moving through the world. I want you to feel a storytelling itch that demands to be scratched.
I want you to start having a hard time sitting through presentations because you can see how it could have been a great story or what a story could have done to improve it. I want you find yourself critical of the written word in a new way because you expect to find a narrative structure.
To accomplish all this, you’ll have to arrive willing to work and push your boundaries, open to new ways of thinking and doing, and ready to ask questions and discuss answers.
I’ll bring something, too.
I’ll bring knowledge, experience, and humor. I’ll bring my deep understanding of storytelling and some of my own ideas about how you can tell them better. I’ll bring my curiosity and be ready to ask questions as we dig for your story and the best way to tell it. I’ll bring my flexibility and experience to be ready to change course if our journey takes an unexpected turn.
A workshop is a workspace. A carpenter builds in a workshop. As the name StoryCraft suggests, I think good stories are the product of a skilled craftsperson. Like any craft, you can only lean storytelling by analyzing how great craftspeople before you have done their work and by practicing endlessly.
My goal in a StoryCraft workshop is to change your storytelling practice. I say change because you already tell stories. I just believe you can do it better.