Nov 18 2015

The Rise of the Storyteller, and How to Be One

Published by under Storytelling

Today, I was traveling on business and picked up The Wall Street Journal. On the cover were all the reminders of terror and fear. I almost put it down because who needs to be reminded that the world is a dangerous place when they are 1000 miles from home? However, as I thumbed through the paper, I saw an article about an app fordreamstime_m_51579183smartphones from an organization called “Storycorps.” I’ve known about this organization for a while, and have loved watching the very short stories that the organization has recorded and published…awe-inspiring, touching, funny, or average, they are all captivating. Now, Storycorps has added a new feature­– you can record your own story. Not only that, but if you want to, you can add it to the Library of Congress where they are creating “an archive of the wisdom of humanity.” And what is that wisdom? It’s what your grandma taught you, or a lesson you learned the other day, or the healing of someone you admire. Most of them are interviews, but nothing earth shattering. Just stories about people. And always fascinating nonetheless.

Stories bring us closer. Your story reminds me of my own, and also reminds me that we are human together, no matter our differences. Anthropologists say that when society has lost its way, the storytellers appear.  If you want to participate in this archive, or if you just want to record a story that your papa tells this Thanksgiving and/or participate in the Great Thanksgiving Listen (a special Storycorps initiative designed to record the stories of an entire generation in one weekend!), download the app and follow the directions. And here are three tips for telling a great story:

  1. Make sure there is a beginning a middle and an end.
  2. Make sure there is an obstacle that has to be overcome, or something that needs to be resolved, and resolve it.
  3. Let the emotions come out. Let them be expressed through your voices and your words. Emotions draw people in and touch their hearts. And that’s what story is all about.

“I hope you will go out and let stories, that is life, happen to you, and that you will work with these stories… water them with your blood and tears and your laughter till they bloom, till you yourself burst into bloom.”
Clarissa Pinkola Estés, Women Who Run With the Wolves: Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype

For more on this topic, please see my post  From Information to Imagination: Delivering a good story

or Your Speech Needs a Blizzard.

Photo © Wandruschka |

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Oct 12 2015

An interview with your voice

Published by under Musings,Vocal Health

dreamstime_m_21918617How well do you know your voice? Seems like a funny question, right? Just today, I told someone what I do for a living and they said, “There’s nothing you can do about your voice. It is what it is.” And I responded, “Not true. There’s a lot you can do to create a voice that is attractive and healthy– one that serves you well.” (Thank God, or this blog would be pointless!) Yet, you can’t just change your voice. First you have to know what you have to work with.

Some of us are obsessed with learning about our own voices. Singers and great actors and others who love to preach or entertain are well acquainted with what their voices can and cannot do, and what to do to strengthen and keep them healthy. That might sound narcissistic, and perhaps it is, but it’s also important when you count on your voice to represent and sustain you.  I have found that most people don’t know their voices at all except whether or not they like them– and most people don’t like them!

If you are one of the many who find that your voice is a stranger in spite of the fact that you use it as much as or more than any talk show host, stop being strangers. Below is an opportunity to start building a relationship with your voice. Write the questions and answers in a journal or notebook. And have fun! If you have questions about what to do with what you’ve learned, ask me a question in the comments below.  I’d be happy to make suggestions for how you can make the most of your new relationship.

  • How do you use your voice at work?
  • How do you express love with it?
  • How does your voice sound when you feel powerful?
  • How healthy is your voice?
  • How old does your voice sound?
  • Do others like your voice? What do they say about it?
  • What would you like people to say about your voice?
  • When your voice isn’t feeling well, what do you do for it?
  • Has your voice ever betrayed you? Do you ever abuse your voice?
  • What does your laughter sound like?
  • How do you sound when you are sad?
  • When you talk about your dreams, what does your voice say about them? What do others hear about them through your voice?
  • When you are angry, what happens to your voice? Does it get loud? Does it go away? Does your voice want to speak out or go into hiding?
  • Does your voice need air or does it have too much?
  • What happens to your voice when you meet someone new? What happens to it when you have to speak in front of others?
  • Do you have an accent? Does it serve you?
  • Does your voice like to sing? What does it like to sing? Do you encourage it?
  • If there’s one thing about your voice that you’d like to change, what is it?

This post was inspired by other online inventories such as: How well do you know yourself?

Oprah’s inventory for self discovery (not to be confused with the inventory, How well do you actually know Oprah?)

And then of course there are countless online personality tests…I’m a sucker for them all.

© Lightkeeper | Dreamstime.comJob Candidates With Special Skills Concept Photo

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