Want a good story? Brainstorm, then join District 27’s storytelling club.

Storytelling is both personal and the foundation of many well-received speeches. Great storytellers like President Franklin D. Roosevelt mastered the art, and you can learn to become one too.

But because storytelling is personal, that means these stories should be about you.  You should take some time to brainstorm about experiences in your life that you might craft into a story.  To get the ball rolling, here’s what you should do:

  • Find a quiet place and get out a pen and paper. (Computers are okay, but you use more neurons when you write then when you type.)
  • Start by thinking about the important events and experiences in your life.
  • Each time you remember an event or experience, write it down. It doesn’t need to be an essay. Just write a few trigger words that help you remember the word.
  • Keep on going. Give yourself at least 10 to 15 minutes to jot down ideas.
  • Once you have your list, review it, and put stars on the events in your life that interest you the most.
  • Start developing the idea by answering the following questions: What happened to make you lose faith or hope? How did it make you feel? Who was involved? What was the turning point, and how did the situation resolve itself?
  • Most importantly, what did you learn from this situation? How did this event change you? This is important. Just like a fairy tale, a good personal story has to have some sort of closing. It doesn’t have to be happy, it just has to communicate how you are different because of the experience.

If you’d like to knock heads with other seasoned and aspiring storytellers in District 27, contact Club Growth Director Robin Hylton about joining Story Masters.

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Jay Krasnow (ACG/ALB) is the District 27 Public Relations Manager and a member of Challenger Toastmasters, which meets at Asahi Restaurant in Courthouse Plaza (2500 Clarendon Blvd., Suite G), Arlington, VA, at 7 p.m. on the first and third Tuesday of the month.

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