Thursday, December 27, 2007

Adore My Work

Last night, at one of the family Christmas gatherings, the brother of my brother-in-law was telling us how he “adores” his work. My in-law was astounded that anyone could “adore” the work they do.

His brother works for a company that is, essentially, a playground supply shop for the recreation needs of adults for such pastimes as skiing, beaching, outsdoorsing and so on. He said that people come to his store ready to spend money, eager to buy new toys and for the fun and excitement that the items in his store will bring to their lives. Hence, his customers are always happy and they see him as someone who can help them meet their needs.

I chimed in with the fact that I also adore my work. I don’t like the traveling, it’s not romantic. To survive, I have learned to think of the traveling as part of the workday and not simply a conduit between A and B. By that I mean I’ve learned to think, “Today my job is: travel.” That helps.

But once I arrive where I am to be, I adore my work. I love the audiences. I love the sounds an audience makes when they “get it.” I adore the moments when one of my corporate storytelling clients says, “That was the lightbulb for me!” In those same corporate settings, I am excited about how those clients start to apply the integration of story with their mission statements.

I adore this job when the scruffy teenage boys, at the end of a story, say out loud to each other “Damn, that was a pretty good story.” I adore those moments when the teenage girls stop (unconsciously) in the middle of their “texting” to watch my story finish.

I adore my work when school administrators say, “We’ve never seen anything get the attention of our (parents) (students) like your storytelling.” I adore it when little kids see me in the library or store and say, “Hey, you came to our school and you told us the story about the moose and the loud cricket and all those animals and the moose got bit on the butt and he jumped in the air and the fish had no water and then he fell on the ground and the water came back up and then the fly......”

I adore my work of promoting other storytellers when a sponsor writes to me to tell me how through they found the perfect teller.

I adore my coaching work when my coaching clients call me and tell me they had a “nirvana” moment during our coaching session.

I love my role as "community service" work when someone at sees their new page unfold with pictures and audio and they are so excited by that. I am crazy wild about storytelling when a directory member sends an Email expressing shock that they got booked via their listing with us. As my kids say, “no duh!” If you are a working storyteller and you are not listed at, you are missing jobs. Period.

I adore my work as a storyteller. Thanks for letting me be a part of your life in some way.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Happy Holidays

Three Rules of Work:
Out of clutter, find Simplicity.
From discord, find Harmony.
In the middle of difficulty lies Opportunity.


Sex and Weight Loss

Headlines. How do you use them on your marketing materials?

The Reader’s Digest magazine, on the checkout stand at the grocery store yesterday, has the headline SEX AND WEIGHT LOSS at the top on the overwrap of their little magazine. My first thought was: “Reader’s Digest still exists?” Then I thought, “Where does the apostrophe go?”

Finally I thought, “Ooops, they got me. I looked at their magazine. They broke through, even with that cheesy and predictable headline, they broke through. They’re gonna get me to mention their magazine. I guess they win.”

No, I didn’t buy it. Even a good headline only goes so far if your product doesn’t serve the needs of the viewer.

A good headline grabs the reader and forces them to STOP and look at what you are saying. Even the latest RD.

What headlines do you use in your marketing postcards? What works? If you are still sending letters in an envelope, do you know how to improve your chances to get them opened?

We do.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Storytelling Definition

Let's define what we're talking about. I wrote this a number of years ago. It took me a while:

Storytelling is the intentional sharing of a narrative through words and actions for the benefit of both the listener and the teller.

When I teach this in Storytelling 101, we spend a good 30 minutes going through this. Each word is there for a reason. Care to give it a comment shot?

This is in reference to the reference to the article at Tim Ereneta's blog. The reporter is right, it's way too hard to get storytellers to define their art form.

Friday, December 14, 2007

One Less In 2007.

2007 lost several storytellers. Some known by all. Some only known to a few.

Chet Ambrose was one of those. He passed away in July 2007. As he told me, he was the youngest of 5 brothers, with his oldest brother being in his late 90's. He was a retired school teacher and administrator and LOVED telling stories to children.

He never made it to be a festival teller. Wasn't a "Dragon Teller." Wasn't on a committee of Elders, 'cept at his own local church. Wasn't on the hay wagon back in TN way back when. I guess he wasn't successful by our sometimes myopic organizational viewpoints. I don't even think he was in the NSN. He was a member of

But he made a big difference in his telling to the children who heard him.

He wanted his stories posted to so that his big brothers could "hear them and read them." His big brothers?! Chet was 77!

Come take a look at his page at Listen to his stories. Read a few. Click over to the site that his family made for him when he was still here and then have updated after his death. It is an interesting website and look at how storytelling effects/affects in a local circle.

We lost other storytellers in 2007. We miss them all.

Peace. Life is good. And fleeting. Love 'em while you got 'em.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

New Video: Rapunzel

Courtesy of the good folks of the Talk Story Festival in Hawaii, I've got a WHOLE bunch of new videos to share with you. So, bandwidth be damned, here is the first of several I can offer you. DON'T repost this, but feel free to have others come here to see it. My take on Rapunzel is here for you now in a video that is compatible with Ipods, Itunes and QuickTime, which is probably on your computer at this very moment. Get the video by clicking on this link right now. WAIT for it, it's a huge file. Patience.

More about TalkStory in a future blog.