Thursday, May 26, 2011

The Grid of Storytelling

Over on her very interesting blog, Limor Shiponi is struggling to create a visual interpretation of storytelling. It's worth looking at the post, the diagram and to read through the comments on all three parts of her postings on this. While I have tried to impart a definition to storytelling before, she is deeply into this process. Here are my comments on the process so far.

I like what you are doing. What I enjoy more is watching folks “talk” through this. Below are just my thoughts, in no order or fully expressed ideas:

1. There are no solid lines between story, storyteller and audience. The lines are dotted or dashed. The flow of each of these parts plays with and against each other at all times. If the lines are solid, then this is acting and not storytelling.

2. Doug Lipman has done some of this triangle work already in his book “Improving Your Storytelling.” It's on page 17, to be precise. While I disagree (with complete respect) with Doug that the teller does not influence the interpretation of the listener/witness, I do find that his model makes it very clear for the beginning storyteller (which most “business” storytellers are these days) that the creation of a storytelling event requires all three pieces of the puzzle. I usually use his model (with attribution) when working with neophyte storytellers.

3. I think that most “(Some Super Adjective!) Storytelling” phrases these days are primarily for marketing purposes. There was a time that we could just say that we specialize in storytelling for business, but not any more. The field is too crowded with piles of marketers all trying to stand out, thus we get all those adjectives you refer to in your post. This is all part of the mythology that is developing about “Biz” storytelling. I hope to have my first post about these myths up later this afternoon.
Just my two cents here.

This is the official blog for K. Sean Buvala, storyteller and storytelling coach.

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