How to Create Telling Stories & Why You Should

© 2001 by Lou Fournier and Lynell Burmark. All rights strictly reserved.


Stop us if you've heard this one: A teacher goes into a classroom, delivers a terrific lesson through engaging and effective use of stories delivered in a succession of three, and the students love it and learn. Get the story?

Stories are far more than mere entertainment. Many researchers assert that story is the way we communicate the essence of our lives and who we are. Marc Gafni, author of the best-seller Soul Prints, goes so far as to say that our deepest personal nature is conveyed through the expression of our life story. Clearly we're talking about something much more powerful than just a plotline.

As educators, we seek to give students tools for effective living. Stories are an important way to facilitate that process. They become effective vehicles of expression for the teller and vessels of learning for the listener. Stories are the best way to communicate, because they help us organize, retain, and take meaning from everything from factual information to highly emotional content. This presentation explores how this happens and uncovers resources for every aspect of storytelling: content sources, composition tips and techniques, delivery approaches, matching the right story style to various kinds of information, integrating visual images and music, and assessing the efficacy of a story once told. And it reveals how and why creating and/or presenting three stories about a specific point solidifies the learning of the point.

Come see how stories can help you and your students convey important information, ideas, and concepts. Examine the stories in art and music to discern how they effect a visceral communication of concepts, images and emotions. Discover how metaphors carry deeper meaning and how that meaning is accessible even to small children. Experience multimedia and other strategies to help you deliver your story with optimal impact. Learn to compose a story in specific ways for specific purposes.

Instead of thinking of a lesson or unit as a set of objectives to achieve or a body of information to "get through," let's repackage it as a compelling story to be told! Instead of sending charts of test scores to the local newspaper and television station, let's invite them to interview a couple of children whose scores have skyrocketed! Let's reexamine all our curriculum and presentations, looking for the exciting and important stories bubbling beneath the surface.

Start adding storytelling to your instructional and communications resources by joining us for the story of story.

Presentation type... keynote, breakout session or workshop
Audience................ all
Duration................. 45 to 90 minutes - 3 to 7 hours for workshop
Handouts................ no

Mr. Fournier will gladly tailor any presentation to your specific needs.