Speak Up Storytelling: Ted Zablotsky

On episode #42 of the Speak Up Storytelling podcast, Elysha Dicks and I talk storytelling!

In our followup segment, we read a heartwarming email from a listener about Homework for Life and our new favorite review from a listener.

In our Homework for Life segment, we talk about how storyworthy moments can often be identified by finding moments in our lives that cause us to ask big questions and express controversial ideas. 

Next we listen to Ted Zablotsky's Voices of Hope story about returning to his father's hometown decades after the Holocaust.  

Voices of Hope is an organization dedicated to preserving the stories of the Holocaust, and we partner with this organization to help the children and grandchildren of Holocaust survivors tell their stories. 

After listening, we discuss:

  1. Telling stories about other people through the lens of your own story

  2. The effectiveness of telling your story in scenes

  3. The power of a subtle ending

  4. Remaining within the moment of a story at all times and not projecting forward

Finally, we each offer a recommendation.  

LINKS

Homework for Life: https://bit.ly/2f9ZPne

Matthew Dicks's website: http://www.matthewdicks.com

Matthew Dicks's YouTube channel:
https://www.youtube.com/matthewjohndicks 

Subscribe to Matthew Dicks's weekly newsletter: 
http://www.matthewdicks.com/matthewdicks-subscribe

Subscribe to the Speak Up newsletter: 
http://www.matthewdicks.com/subscribe-speak-up

RECOMMEDATIONS

Elysha:

Matt:

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A man of many sexual exploits. Apparently. Maybe.

Happily, I have a thick skin. As an author of several books and a person who writes on the Internet in a variety of contexts, I receive a lot of less-than-glowing responses and reviews. These come in the form of online reviews, tweets, emails, and Facebook messages.

While a vast majority of my book reviews have admittedly been positive, some are not.

Some are downright scathing.

Many authors avoid reading reviews (or claim they do) as an act of self preservation. They refuse to look at their reviews on places like Amazon and Goodreads because the negative feedback can really hurt.

I’m not a supporter of this policy for two reasons:

  1. As an author, I write books with the intent of selling them to readers. Ignoring reviews amounts to ignoring your customers, and for me, that makes no sense. If my customers have a consistent complaint about my work, I want to know about it.

  2. If a negative review or a scathing comment is going to somehow impact my sense of self-worth or my psyche, I’m in the wrong line of work. Not everyone is going to love what you make, and some of them are going to say it aloud.

An added bonus to reading your reviews is you occasionally get the negative review that causes you to laugh, like the one I read yesterday for Storyworthy.

The person wrote:

__________________________________________

It is a great book and effective map for great storytelling. But too many references glorifying the man's sexual exploits for me though it could be worse.

__________________________________________

I loved this bit of criticism. First of all, I had never considered myself a man of many sexual exploits, so I’m kind of thrilled that I might be more exciting than I once thought.

And what does “it could be worse” mean? Does this person have knowledge of my sexual exploits and knows that I held back? Is he or she implying that I could’ve shared a lot more? And if so, what?

I also have no idea what this person is talking about. Does Storyworthy really contain a multitude of references glorifying my sexual exploits? I honestly can’t recall a single one, but maybe I’m wrong. Maybe I shared more sex stories than I had planned. Maybe I unintentionally overshared (which I’ve been known to do from time to time).

If you’ve read the book recently, could you let me know? I really want to know.

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Speak Up Storytelling: Tom Ouimet

On episode #41 of the Speak Up Storytelling podcast, Matthew and Elysha Dicks talk storytelling!

In our followup segment, we congratulate friend of the podcast Robin Gelfenbien on her recent (and momentous) Moth StorySLAM victory. Robin is the producer and host of Yum's the Word, an award-winning NYC storytelling show and podcast:

http://www.yumsthewordshow.com

Next, we pass on AirTable, a Homework for Life suggestion from a listener:

https://airtable.com
https://vimeo.com/album/3513053/format:detail

In our Homework for Life segment, we talk about the challenge of tell a hero story when the act of heroism is not all that impressive or interesting. 

Next we listen to Tom Ouimet's story about a secret in his pants. 

After listening, we discuss:

  1. The exceptional layering and efficiency of the story

  2. The strategic use of pauses and silence to enhance humor 

  3. The importance of choice and consistency when it comes to the perspective adopted by the storyteller

  4. The escalation of stakes

  5. Making choices consistent with the tone and theme of a story

Next, we answer questions about critiquing stories and telling stories from a third person perspective. 

Finally, we each offer a recommendation.  

LINKS

Homework for Life: https://bit.ly/2f9ZPne

Matthew Dicks's website: http://www.matthewdicks.com

Matthew Dicks's YouTube channel:
https://www.youtube.com/matthewjohndicks 

Subscribe to Matthew Dicks's weekly newsletter: 
http://www.matthewdicks.com/matthewdicks-subscribe

Subscribe to the Speak Up newsletter: 
http://www.matthewdicks.com/subscribe-speak-up

STORYTELLING WORKSHOPS 2019

May 4: Storytelling workshop (beginner), CT Historical Society
May 18: Storytelling workshop (advanced), CT Historical Society
June 1: Storytelling workshop (master class), CT Historical Society
July 29-August 2: Storytelling bootcamp, CT Historical Society
August 17: Storytelling workshop, Taproot Theater, Seattle, WA
October 25-27: Storytelling workshop, Kripalu Center for Yoga and Heath
December 6-8: Storytelling workshop, Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health

RECOMMEDATIONS

Elysha:

Matt:

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Speak Up Storytelling: John Smith-Horn

On episode #40 of the Speak Up Storytelling podcast, Matthew and Elysha Dicks talk storytelling.

In our followup segment, we announce our first LIVE PODCAST RECORDING!

May 18: CT Historical Society. Tickets just $5. All proceeds go to the CT Historical Society.

Purchase here: https://chs.org/event/speak-up-podcast-live

ALSO, UPCOMING SHOWS:

March 16: “Exposed: Lies, Secrets, and Indiscretions Revealed” at Space Ballroom

March 30: "Courage" at Real Art Ways

We also discuss a listener's suggestion regarding pausing at the very end of a story (as well as some of our strategies to get yourself ready to tell your story) and another listener's suggestion of the Day One app for Homework for Life:

https://dayoneapp.com

In our Homework for Life segment, we talk about the need for storytellers to keep their eyes opened for moments of transformation and realization in their own lives (however small they may seem) in order to find new stories to tell. 

Next we listen to John Smith-Horn's story about making cookies.

After listening, we discuss:

  1. The components of a perfect beginning to a story

  2. The power of effective vocal modulation

  3. Telling the story from the perspective (and maintaining that perspective) of your former self

  4. The way that small stories that say many things (and important, meaningful things)

  5. Revealing the secrets and suspense in a story by spooling out the moment and allowing the audience to bear witness to the unveiling

Next, we answer questions about finding themes in storytelling, maintaining audience interest in less formal storytelling settings, and the struggle to find stories on every single day of your life.

Finally, we each offer a recommendation.  

LINKS

Homework for Life: https://bit.ly/2f9ZPne

Matthew Dicks's website: http://www.matthewdicks.com

Matthew Dicks's YouTube channel:
https://www.youtube.com/matthewjohndicks 

Subscribe to Matthew Dicks's weekly newsletter: 
http://www.matthewdicks.com/matthewdicks-subscribe

Subscribe to the Speak Up newsletter: 
http://www.matthewdicks.com/subscribe-speak-up

STORYTELLING WORKSHOPS 2019

STORYTELLING WORKSHOPS 2019

May 4: Storytelling workshop (beginner), CT Historical Society
May 18: Storytelling workshop (advanced), CT Historical Society
June 1: Storytelling workshop (master class), CT Historical Society
July 29-August 2: Storytelling bootcamp, CT Historical Society
August 17: Storytelling workshop, Taproot Theater, Seattle, WA
October 25-27: Storytelling workshop, Kripalu Center for Yoga and Heath
December 6-8: Storytelling workshop, Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health

RECOMMEDATIONS

Elysha:

Matt:

  • Conversations with the disabled

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Speak Up Storytelling #29: Matthew Dicks

On episode #39 of the Speak Up Storytelling podcast, Matthew Dicks talks storytelling!

With report cards and parent-teacher conferences filling Elysha's week, she takes some time off from the podcast, shifting our format again. I'm going it alone this week. Rather than posting a re-run, we have some exciting new content for you.  

Hope you enjoy! 

In our follow up segment, Elysha and I talk about the cover release of my new novel Twenty-one Truths About Love, which you can see in the show notes. 

Then, instead of listening and critiquing a new story, I play three of my stories (chosen for a specific reason) with some commentary about the crafting of each. 

After listening, I discuss:

  1. The variety of chronological formats available to storytellers

  2. When to choose a specific chronological format for a story

  3. The strategies used to preserve and enhance surprise in a story

LINKS

http://speakupstorytelling.libsyn.com/matthew-dicks-trio

Matthew Dicks's website: http://www.matthewdicks.com

Matthew Dicks's YouTube channel:
https://www.youtube.com/matthewjohndicks 

Subscribe to Matthew Dicks's weekly newsletter: 
http://www.matthewdicks.com/matthewdicks-subscribe

Subscribe to the Speak Up newsletter: 
http://www.matthewdicks.com/subscribe-speak-up

Speak Up at Space Ballroom on March 16:
Exposed: Lies, Secrets, and Indiscretions Revealed

STORYTELLING WORKSHOPS 2019

May 4: Storytelling workshop (beginner), CT Historical Society
May 18: Storytelling workshop (advanced), CT Historical Society
June 1: Storytelling workshop (master class), CT Historical Society
July 29-August 2: Storytelling bootcamp, CT Historical Society
August 17: Storytelling workshop, Taproot Theater, Seattle, WA 
October 25-27: Storytelling workshop, Kripalu Center for Yoga and Heath
December 6-8: Storytelling workshop, Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health

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Speak Up Storytelling #38: Lauren Doninger

On episode #38 of the Speak Up Storytelling podcast, Matthew and Elysha Dicks talk storytelling.

In our followup segment, we talk about upcoming shows and workshops and offer a shout-out to a listener who we recently met IRL!

In our Homework for Life segment, we talk about four entries in Matt's Homework for Life, and how when combined, they can tell a complete story. We also talk about the value of saying things that other may think but not often speak aloud, and how even when presenting yourself in a less-than-positive light, a storyteller can get an audience on their side.  

Next we listen to Lauren Doninger's story about her son's illness and her fight to be heard. 

After listening, we discuss:

  1. The weaving of details throughout a story rather than piling them at the top

  2. Connecting character details to plot points to allow them to feel seamlessly integrated into the story

  3. Effective ways of teaching our audience about content needed to understand our stories (without bringing the story to a halt)

  4. Effective summarizing within a story

  5. Revealing information (and a surprise) by remaining in the moment

  6. Activating imagination at the top of a story

  7. Injecting humor into the beginning of a story 

  8. Identifying and fully developing critical scenes in a story

Next, we answer questions about titling stories and turning a negative moment into a positive moment. 

Finally, we each offer a recommendation.  

LINKS

Homework for Life: https://bit.ly/2f9ZPne

Matthew Dicks's website: http://www.matthewdicks.com

Matthew Dicks's YouTube channel:
https://www.youtube.com/matthewjohndicks 

Subscribe to Matthew Dicks's weekly newsletter: 
http://www.matthewdicks.com/matthewdicks-subscribe

Subscribe to the Speak Up newsletter: 
http://www.matthewdicks.com/subscribe-speak-up

Speak Up at Space Ballroom on March 3:
Exposed: Lies, Secrets, and Indiscretions Revealed

STORYTELLING WORKSHOPS 2019

May 4: Storytelling workshop (beginner), CT Historical Society
May 18: Storytelling workshop (advanced), CT Historical Society
June 1: Storytelling workshop (master class), CT Historical Society
July 29-August 2: Storytelling bootcamp, CT Historical Society
August 17: Storytelling workshop, Taproot Theater, Seattle, WA 
October 25-27: Storytelling workshop, Kripalu Center for Yoga and Heath
December 6-8: Storytelling workshop, Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health

RECOMMEDATIONS

Elysha:

  • Westworld on HBO

Matt:

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Speak Up Storytelling #37: Steve Brouse

On episode #37 of the Speak Up Storytelling podcast, Elysha Dicks and I talk storytelling along with storyteller and guest host Steve Brouse! 

In our followup segment, we talk about how a listener is using Homework for Life to remain in communication with his son, who is completing basic training. We also review listener feedback on the epic debate over the description of telepathy in Maire Greene's story. 

In our Homework for Life segment, we talk about turning an unexpected snowball fight into a story that pushes back against conventional norms, and Steve Brouse shares his Homework for Life moment, combining two moments into a single idea for a story. 

Next we listen to Steve Brouse's story of a missed phone call and all that happened because of it. 

After listening, we discuss:

  1. The value of opening windows into worlds we might not otherwise ever see 

  2. Effective ways of teaching our audience about content needed to understand our stories (without bringing the story to a halt)

  3. When and how to use humor effectively in a story

  4. The way in which the crafting of a story can also be a discovery process for the storyteller 

  5. Managing emotions during the telling of a story

  6. Identifying and fully developing critical scenes in a story

Next, we answer a question about teaching storytelling to children. 

Finally, we each offer a recommendation.  

LINKS

Homework for Life: https://bit.ly/2f9ZPne

Matthew Dicks's website: http://www.matthewdicks.com

Matthew Dicks's YouTube channel:
https://www.youtube.com/matthewjohndicks 

Subscribe to Matthew Dicks's weekly newsletter: 
http://www.matthewdicks.com/matthewdicks-subscribe

Subscribe to the Speak Up newsletter: 
http://www.matthewdicks.com/subscribe-speak-up

RECOMMEDATIONS

Elysha:

  • Crashing on HBO

Matt:

  • Commissioning portraits of meaningful places for loved ones (via Etsy)

Steve:

  • Puzzles comprised of family photos (via Shutterfly)

 

Speak Up Storytelling: Marie Greene

On episode #35 of the Speak Up Storytelling podcast, Matthew and Elysha Dicks talk storytelling!

In our followup segment, we talk about our confusion between Tom of Brisbane and Tom of Long Island. We also discuss the origin of "telling stories from scars and not wounds" as well as advice on handling our explicit episodes of the podcast. 

We also announce our Seattle ticketing for this summer's workshop and performance. 

In our Homework for Life segment, we talk about finding memories from the past through Homework for Life. We also discuss list-making in storytelling and the importance of having as many options as possible when crafting stories.

Next we listen to Maire Greene's story about grave shopping. 

After listening, we discuss:

  1. Subtlety in storytelling  

  2. The power of bringing an audience into a new world

  3. Small sentences that build stakes and momentum in a story

  4. Accessibility of the story (Elysha and Matt disagree like never before!)

  5. Reminding the audience of key characters and plot points if they have disappeared for any length of time

Next, we answer questions about displaying visuals during talks and additional outlets for storytelling. 

Finally, we each offer a recommendation.  

LINKS

Homework for Life: https://bit.ly/2f9ZPne

Matthew Dicks's website: http://www.matthewdicks.com

Matthew Dicks's YouTube channel:
https://www.youtube.com/matthewjohndicks 

Subscribe to Matthew Dicks's weekly newsletter: 
http://www.matthewdicks.com/matthewdicks-subscribe

Subscribe to the Speak Up newsletter: 
http://www.matthewdicks.com/subscribe-speak-up

Seattle workshop on August 17: https://bit.ly/2E1QU0S

Seattle solo show on August 17: https://bit.ly/2URekLY

RECOMMEDATIONS

Elysha:

Matt:

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Spielberg didn't hire me. Big mistake.

When I was 14 years-old, I went to see Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom at The Stadium in Woonsocket, Rhode Island.

After seeing Raiders of the Lost Ark three years earlier and loving it, I couldn’t wait to see the latest installment in this franchise.

When I left the theater after seeing the movie, I went straight home and wrote a letter to Stephen Spielberg, explaining to him that I thought he was a brilliant director who told fantastic stories but needed someone to watch the finished film to show him all the dumb parts so he could take them out.

Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom is filled with dumb parts.

To her credit, my English teacher at the time found the address of Paramount Pictures and sent the letter off for me, which was not an easy thing to do in a pre-internet 1983.

Spielberg, you’ll be surprised to hear, did not respond.

Honestly, I thought he would. In my 14 year-old mind, I felt certain that I had made an offer he couldn’t refuse.

More than 35 years have passed since that day, but I remain firm in my belief that filmmakers would do well to ask me to watch their movies and point out the dumb parts.

Recently, for example, I wrote about how in both Mary Poppins Returns and Wonder Woman, a white guy ends up saving the day when that job should’ve clearly been put in the hands of the female protagonist. These mistakes were so egregious that I can’t begin to imagine how those films ever made it to the screen without someone correcting the errors in these stories.

Last week Elysha and I watched Spielberg’s latest film Ready Player One. I had read and adored the book a few years ago, so I had low expectations going into the film.

It’s rare that a movie outpaces a book, though Spielberg has managed to accomplish this feat more than once with Jaws, Minority Report (a short story), and maybe Jurassic Park (I’m still not sure).

My low expectations were sadly realized.

Still, even though the film was never going to be better than the book, there were moments of real stupidity in that story that didn’t need to be there. Odd decisions by characters never paid off, shifts in tonality that tilted the film on its side, and at least one moment where an exceedingly obvious solution to an enormous problem was ignored by literally hundreds of people.

All would’ve been easily corrected had Spielberg asked me for advice. Had he answered my letter in 1983 and partnered with me then.

His loss, I guess.

Even so, things have worked out surprisingly well. Today I spend an enormous amount of time helping storytellers revise their stories.

I’m working with a documentarian, reading and revising scripts, looking for ways to improve her storytelling.

I’m working with an ad agency, helping to infuse more effective storytelling into national ad campaigns.

I’m working with small businesses, large corporations, universities, religious institutions, and hospitals to help them craft stories about their products, services, and missions.

I’m working with writers, reviewing their books, book proposals, magazine pieces, and television and film scripts and offering suggestions to improve their stories.

And I work with storytellers, listening to the stories they tell on stages and at the pulpit, in board rooms and in classrooms, at commencements and sales conferences, and everywhere in between.

Oddly, I’m doing the job that I first proposed to Spielberg 35 years ago.

It took me a little longer to get there, and perhaps I’m more skilled today than when I was 14 years-old, but it’s surprising - shocking, really - to realize that I have been on this same path for far longer than I would’ve ever imagined.

Ever since I was a kid, I was watching and listening to stories and trying to find ways to make them better.

It only took me 35 years to realize this.

No wonder Spielberg didn’t hire me back then.

Speak Up Storytelling #35: Ophira Eisenberg

On episode #35 of the Speak Up Storytelling podcast, Elysha Dicks and I talk storytelling!

In our followup segment, we hear from a teacher who is using Homework for Life in her classroom and a listener who had to do one of the strangest things I've ever heard of in a storytelling show.

We also get a little more information on Harry Belafonte. 

In our Homework for Life segment, we talk about how we're often in the middle of the story, and if we're patient enough, an ending will eventually reveal itself (as unfortunate as that ending might be). We also talk about choosing the structure of a story based upon the time frame of your story.

Next we listen to Ophira Eisenberg's story about a mysterious box in the closet.   

After listening, we discuss:

  1. Effective humor throughout the story

  2. Stakes!

  3. Echoing the thoughts of your listeners 

  4. Effective pacing in a story when the surprise is no longer surprising

  5. Specificity

Next, we answer a question about extending stories told on the stage to the written form.  

Finally, we each offer a recommendation.  

LINKS

Harry Belafonte on The Muppets

Homework for Life: https://bit.ly/2f9ZPne

Matthew Dicks's website: http://www.matthewdicks.com

Matthew Dicks's YouTube channel:
https://www.youtube.com/matthewjohndicks 

Subscribe to Matthew Dicks's weekly newsletter: 
http://www.matthewdicks.com/matthewdicks-subscribe

Subscribe to the Speak Up newsletter: 
http://www.matthewdicks.com/subscribe-speak-up

RECOMMEDATIONS

Elysha:

Matt:

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Speak Up #34: Chion Wolf

On episode #34 of the Speak Up Storytelling podcast, Elysha Dicks and I talk storytelling!

In our followup segment, we hear from a listener who hosted an evening of stories at this home with great success. We also resume our debate about jokes within a story. 

In our Homework for Life segment, we talk about the process of taking a single moment from the week and crafting out the skeleton of a story, including the importance of recognizing, protecting, and enhancing any surprises contained therein.   

Next we listen to Chion Wolf's story about the biggest job interview of her life.  

After listening, we discuss:

  1. Effective transitions of time and space

  2. Telling stories in vivid, easily imagined scenes

  3. The power of effective inner dialogue

  4. The preservation and enhancement of surprise

  5. Effective ways of speaking highly of yourself

Next, we answer a question about ending a story early and leaving the audience hanging on unspoken, final details of a story. 

Finally, we each offer a recommendation.  

LINKS

Homework for Life: https://bit.ly/2f9ZPne

Matthew Dicks's website: http://www.matthewdicks.com

Matthew Dicks's YouTube channel:
https://www.youtube.com/matthewjohndicks 

Subscribe to Matthew Dicks's weekly newsletter: 
http://www.matthewdicks.com/matthewdicks-subscribe

Subscribe to the Speak Up newsletter: 
http://www.matthewdicks.com/subscribe-speak-up

This Is Going to Suck

RECOMMEDATIONS

Elysha:

Matt:

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Speak Up Storytelling #33: Bobbi Klau

On episode #33 of the Speak Up Storytelling podcast, Matthew and Elysha Dicks talk storytelling!

In our followup segment, we thank our listeners, including American military personnel from around the world who have been reaching out to us this week, as well as those listeners kind enough to rate and review Speak Up Storytelling during this past week.

We went over 100 reviews and rating this week!

In our Homework for Life segment, we talk about how a simple but powerful statement from a stranger can be enough material for a story. 

Next we listen to Bobbi Klau's story about the search for the perfect gift. 

After listening, we discuss:

  1. Pacing, both as it related to authenticity and the ability of the audience to follow a story

  2. The power of humor at the top of a story, particularly when it demonstrates honesty, authenticity, and self-deprecation to your audience

  3. Telling stories in scenes

  4. Strategically humorous moments in stories vs. a joke placed within a story

  5. Kurt Vonnegut's philosophy on short stories

  6. The hazards of cultural references

  7. Avoiding the de-activating of your audience's imagination when you need to provide your audience with information

Next, we answer a question about the difference between stories that end in a moment of emotional resonance vs. a light-hearted observation or decision and a question about the role of EQ vs. logic in storytelling.

Finally, we each offer a recommendation.  

LINKS

Homework for Life: https://bit.ly/2f9ZPne

Wire Tap with Jonathan Goldstein: https://bit.ly/2W5pZbz

"Deformed Cow and the Moonlight Deer": https://bit.ly/2Do8OKS

Matthew Dicks's website: http://www.matthewdicks.com

Matthew Dicks's YouTube channel:
https://www.youtube.com/matthewjohndicks 

Subscribe to Matthew Dicks's weekly newsletter: 
http://www.matthewdicks.com/matthewdicks-subscribe

Subscribe to the Speak Up newsletter: 
http://www.matthewdicks.com/subscribe-speak-up

RECOMMEDATIONS

Elysha:

  • Workplace lunch clubs

Matt:

Speak Up Storytelling #32: Tom Reed Swale

On episode #32 of the Speak Up Storytelling podcast, Elysha Dicks and I talk storytelling!

In our followup segment, we talk about new workshop dates and links, a surprising email from a merchant marine, and a girl crush on Elysha. 

In our Homework for Life segment, we talk about finding and collecting stories while visiting familiar locations from our lives and how some of them could be great stories to tell. 

Next we listen to Tom Reed Swale's story about love on a college campus.

After listening, we discuss:

  1. The power of self deprecating humor

  2. The best places to start stories

  3. Enhancing the power of surprise in a story

  4. Capturing mood and tone through vocal inflection 

  5. The hazards of cultural references

  6. Avoiding the de-activation of your audience's imagination

Next, we answer questions about telling stories that cast people in a negative light and the possibility of two people sharing a stage to tell a story.

Finally, we each offer a recommendation.  

LINKS

Homework for Life: https://bit.ly/2f9ZPne

Matthew Dicks's website: http://www.matthewdicks.com

Matthew Dicks's YouTube channel:
https://www.youtube.com/matthewjohndicks 

Subscribe to Matthew Dicks's weekly newsletter: 
http://www.matthewdicks.com/matthewdicks-subscribe

Subscribe to the Speak Up newsletter: 
http://www.matthewdicks.com/subscribe-speak-up

Peter Aguero and Sara Peter's TED Talk:
https://bit.ly/2Ciqgir

She Held My Hand:
https://bit.ly/2TPb5o6

RECOMMEDATIONS

Elysha:

Matt

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Speak Up Storytelling #31: David Ring

On episode #31 of the Speak Up Storytelling podcast, Elysha Dicks and I talk storytelling!

In our followup segment, we talk about two emails received related to Homework for Life, including a sample of Homework for Life from the 1800's!

Next, we talk about finding and collecting stories in your everyday life using "Homework for Life." We talk about the value of waiting to tell a story, the possibility that you are in the midst of a story, and the way that some stories can stretch across decades. 

Next we listen to David Ring's story about a trial, a possible death penalty, and a hit ordered on his life.

After listening, we discuss:

  1. A great first sentence

  2. The way that choices about description and leaning description in a certain direction can help tell the story

  3. The power of contrast in description

  4. "Nonfiction" in storytelling

  5. The appropriate absence of humor in storytelling

  6. The elimination of "I remember..." from stories

Next, we answer questions about using Homework for Life to recapture recorded memories and the differences between personal narrative storytelling and the telling of folktales, fables, fiction, or informational text. 

Finally, we each offer a recommendation.  

LINKS

Homework for Life: https://bit.ly/2f9ZPne

Matthew Dicks's website: http://www.matthewdicks.com

Matthew Dicks's YouTube channel:
https://www.youtube.com/matthewjohndicks 

Subscribe to Matthew Dicks's weekly newsletter: 
http://www.matthewdicks.com/matthewdicks-subscribe

Subscribe to the Speak Up newsletter: 
http://www.matthewdicks.com/subscribe-speak-up

RECOMMEDATIONS

Elysha:

Matt

Speak Up Storytelling: Chuck Fedolfi

On episode #30 of the Speak Up Storytelling podcast, Elysha Dicks and I talk storytelling!

In our followup segment, we talk about upcoming dates (including a workshop in Seattle this summer) and my weekly storytelling newsletter. 

Next, we talk about finding and collecting stories in your everyday life using "Homework for Life." We talk about fusing a moment of realization onto an ongoing experience to illustrate that realization clearly for an audience. Essentially to create a story.   

Next we listen to Chuck Fedolfi's story about his dog, Boo, and the inspiration derived from Boo's struggle.

After listening, we discuss:

  1. The effective use of time shifts in storytelling

  2. Getting and keeping a story moving 

  3. Turning a potential anecdote into an meaningful, moving, story of vulnerability and heart

  4. The power and hazards of ambiguity

  5. Ways to improve a moment of surprise

Next, we answer questions about the difference between telling stories formally and informally, the ways that my Homework for Life spreadsheet is structured, and the writing of effective storytelling pitches. 

Finally, we each offer a recommendation.  

LINKS

Homework for Life: https://bit.ly/2f9ZPne

Matthew Dicks's website: http://www.matthewdicks.com

Matthew Dicks's YouTube channel:
https://www.youtube.com/matthewjohndicks 

Subscribe to Matthew Dicks's weekly newsletter: 
http://www.matthewdicks.com/matthewdicks-subscribe

Subscribe to the Speak Up newsletter: 
http://www.matthewdicks.com/subscribe-speak-up

RECOMMEDATIONS

Elysha

  • Commemorating important events in your life via Christmas ornaments

Matt

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Speak Up Storytelling: Christina Fedolfi

On episode #29 of the Speak Up Storytelling podcast, Matthew and Elysha Dicks talk storytelling!

In our followup segment, we talk about an error in a previous podcast, upcoming show and workshop dates (including a workshop in Seattle this summer), a Pulp Fiction secret revealed, and more.  

Next, we talk about finding and collecting stories in your everyday life using "Homework for Life." We talk about the C-A-B-C format for storytelling and how it can be applied to a simple moment with a father and son. 

Next we listen to Christina Fedolfi's story about mishaps and adventures while preparing for a big bike race. 

After listening, we discuss:

  1. The effective use of humor in this story in particular 

  2. The B-A b-C format for storytelling 

  3. Creating a mental schema to assist an audience

  4. The power of setting a scene at all times

  5. Ways to improve and enhance a moment of surprise

Next, we answer questions about storytelling and Homework for Life with children, the gender gap in storytelling, and remembering the details in Homework for Life for the future. 

Finally, we each offer a recommendation.  

LINKS

New York City Public Library appearance registration

What Was Inside the Glowing Briefcase in Pulp Fiction:
https://bit.ly/2V5AZFs

Momento app: momentoapp.com

Homework for Life: https://bit.ly/2f9ZPne

Matthew Dicks's website: http://www.matthewdicks.com

Matthew Dicks's YouTube channel:
https://www.youtube.com/matthewjohndicks 

Subscribe to Matthew Dicks's weekly newsletter: 
http://www.matthewdicks.com/matthewdicks-subscribe

RECOMMEDATIONS

Elysha:

Matt

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Speak Up Storytelling: Erica Donahue

On episode #28 of the Speak Up Storytelling podcast, Matthew and Elysha Dicks talk storytelling!

In our followup segment, we talk about upcoming Speak Up events, offer insight on Tasmanian Devils, respond to some listener emails about PTSD, and apologize for failing to record a new episode last week.  

Next, we talk about finding and collecting stories in your everyday life using "Homework for Life." We talk about the value of finding "worsts" in your life, then we talk about how to apply perspective to your Homework for Life in an effort to find more stories. 

Next we listen to Erica Donahue's story about attending college in rural Virginia as a fish out of water.

After listening, we discuss:

  1. The effective use of details in a story

  2. The broadening of stakes

  3. The power of contrast

  4. The avoiding of thesis statements

  5. The value of the slow reveal

Next, we answer questions about effective transitions and how and when to tell stories involving trauma. 

Finally, we each offer a recommendation.  

LINKS

New York City Public Library appearance registration

Homework for Life: https://bit.ly/2f9ZPne

Matthew Dicks's website: http://www.matthewdicks.com

Matthew Dicks's YouTube channel:
https://www.youtube.com/matthewjohndicks 

Subscribe to Matthew Dicks's weekly newsletter: 
http://www.matthewdicks.com/matthewdicks-subscribe

Your geographic opposite: 
www.antipodesmap.com

This Is Going to Suck:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N3J4Q5c1C1w

RECOMMEDATIONS

Elysha:

Matt:

A bittersweet moment for a storyteller, and a magical night for all of us

Thought I'd share this little moment of beauty with all you:

Last night I competed in a Moth GrandSLAM in Brooklyn. It was an evening filled with fantastic storytellers, a hilarious host, and a world class violinist, but the storyteller who stole the show was not on the stage at all.

After winning a Moth StorySLAM earlier this year and thus gaining entry into the GrandSLAM, one of the storytellers was deported after more than 15 years in this country as a result of changes in immigration policies by the Trump administration.

After living and working for years as a New Yorker, first as a student and then as a legal resident, this Iranian-born former resident of South Africa was forced to leave the country.

He's currently residing back in South Africa.

The Moth decided to allow this storyteller to compete despite his inability to attend the GrandSLAM. Instead of standing on the stage, he told his story via Skype to the theater full of people. Though none of us could see the storyteller, we listened intently to his story, and at the end of the night, the judges declared him the winner.

It was one of those evenings of Moth magic that I was so happy to witness firsthand.

That's the beauty of storytelling. Last night I competed in my 24th Moth GrandSLAM, yet it never, ever gets old. Magic can happen at any moment. A storyteller can touch your heart in ways you never expected. You can find yourself gasping or laughing or crying at the most unexpected moments.

And last night, we had the chance to listen to a storyteller from half a world away tell a story of beauty, pain, and hope.

It was one of those rare nights at The Moth when everyone's favorite story was the same story, and that was a truly beautiful thing.

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Speak Up Storytelling #4: Sam Carley [rebroadcast]

The combination of Hanukah and an injury (happily not too serious) to our son's foot has made it impossible to record a new episode for you this week, so please enjoy this rebroadcast of one of our most popular episodes ever.

Elysha and I will be back next week with a brand new episode. 

_____________________________________

On episode #4 of Speak Up Storytelling, Elysha and I talk storytelling!

We talk about about finding excellent stories in your everyday life using my strategy "Homework for Life" and the importance of transformation in storytelling. 

Then we listen to Sam Carley's story about a challenging bus ride through an Indian desert with the possible girl of his dreams, followed by commentary and critique, including:

  1. The ideal arc of a story

  2. Describing human beings in stories

  3. Limiting unnecessary description

  4. Advancing time in a story

Next, we answer listener questions and offer recommendations.  

LINKS

Homework for Life: https://bit.ly/2f9ZPne

Speak Up storytelling: http://speakupstorytelling.com

Matthew Dicks's website: http://www.matthewdicks.com

Matthew Dicks's YouTube channel:
https://www.youtube.com/matthewjohndicks 

RECOMMENDATIONS

Queer Eye for the Straight Guy:
https://www.netflix.com/title/80160037

Evernote:
https://evernote.com

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Speak Up Storytelling: Kathy Binder

On episode #27 of the Speak Up Storytelling podcast, Matthew and Elysha Dicks talk storytelling alongside storyteller Kathy Binder. 

In our followup segment, we talk about upcoming Speak Up events, respond to listener comments, and offer another shout-out to our fans down under. 

Next, we talk about finding and collecting stories in your everyday life using "Homework for Life." We talk about a single word (spoken on episode #26 of this podcast) can amount to a Homework for Life moment, and how that might be used in a story (including how to frame the story)

Next we listen to Kathy Binder's story about breaking down on the Taconic Parkway on a frigid, winter night with a newborn. 

After listening, we discuss:

  1. The effective use of humor in storytelling

  2. The beauty if a story's imperfection

  3. Coincidence stories

  4. The preservation of surprise

  5. Maintaining important ideas throughout a story 

  6. Nervous as a part of public storytelling and speaking

  7. The importance of stating stakes early 

  8. Techniques for shortening stories

Next, we answer questions about hints to winning Moth and other competitive storytelling events and the responsibility of the storyteller and the audience. 

Finally, we each offer a recommendation.  

LINKS

New York City Public Library appearance registration

Homework for Life: https://bit.ly/2f9ZPne

Matthew Dicks's website: http://www.matthewdicks.com

Matthew Dicks's YouTube channel:
https://www.youtube.com/matthewjohndicks 

Subscribe to Matthew Dicks's weekly newsletter: 
http://www.matthewdicks.com/matthewdicks-subscribe

The Robbery: https://bit.ly/2DWczc2

The Promise: https://bit.ly/2zGe4au

RECOMMEDATIONS

Elysha:

Matt:

Kathy Binder

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