What is Storytelling?

Someone recently asked me what storytelling is and, more specifically, what it is not. The following observations from British poet and author, H.C. Morgan, seemed apropos. In today’s experiential and relational society, the narrative of a brand, and how that narrative intertwines with that of its workforce, market, community, and society…these are crucial considerations as the initial transaction alone no longer proves sufficient.

“Storytelling builds bridges between ignorance and understanding. 
These narrative conduits inspire and empower readers, listeners, and viewers to undertake a journey toward greater awareness, enlightenment, or simply knowledge. 
While a story may not be necessary for the acquisition of the aforementioned knowledge, it is (if properly structured) the most effective platform, channel, and vehicle for the journey in question: best structured to give the individual or collective the highest potential for sustainable realization of goals.

Storytelling is not a directionless engagement. 
Its goal should not be the use of language for effect, without purpose or objective. It ultimately should be about clarification, not obfuscation. 
A well-told story becomes, in its telling, the first chapter of a new story, taken up by the listener once they are inspired and empowered to make something of it that grows beyond the confines of the original narrator’s ken.”
-H.C. Morgan

 

With thanks to Roger Ebert for directing me to this great resource, I found a lovely “low-tech” use of YouTube today, that I wanted to share with you.

Over 500 classic poems, each read aloud by the same man, as a simple slideshow presents the poet’s headshot, followed by the text of the poem, and concluding with a subtly evocative image relating to the poem just read:

Click here to visit the Spoken Verse Channel on YouTube

I’m afraid I am finding the channel somewhat addictive…rediscovering old favorites, and unearthing new delights.