Storytelling Tips & the Irish Tradition
Nevermind the green beer – tell a story this St. Patrick’s Day!
Saint Patrick’s Day is coming. Wear a shamrock and quaff a green beer if you must, but if you really want to honor the Irish, tell a good story. My father, a second generation Irish immigrant, was a gifted and often hilarious storyteller. He loved to hold forth over dinner, telling stories we’d all heard before but with such humor, descriptive detail and fascinating characters that my brother and sisters were completely captivated.
In the summer before he died he took me on a tour of his hometown; the houses he grew up in, the schools he attended, the church in which he married our mother and the grave where his mother was buried. He told me stories about each of those places along the way. He shared his hopes, dreams, disappointments and failures; like the day he lost his job and was forced to pawn his accordion to pay the rent or the day Tommy Donnelly got the front wheel of his bike stuck in the trolley tracks.
His stories were often more than just amusement; they made a point, taught a lesson and most of all, gave me an intimate glimpse into my Dad’s character. I saw what he stood for as a son, husband, friend and father. Stories connect with the heart as well as the head. They build relationships and turn data into knowledge that sticks. They can move people to tears and move people to action.
So tell someone a story this Saint Patrick’s Day. Tell one to your boss, or your kids or perhaps skip the PowerPoint and tell a personal story to your team. They’ll love you for it.
Here are some tips to get you started