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Improving Your Storytelling: Beyond the Basics for All Who Tell Stories in Work or Play
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Improving Your Storytelling: Beyond the Basics for All Who Tell Stories in Work or Play

(American Storytelling)

3.60  ·  Rating details ·  191 ratings  ·  21 reviews
The first steps in storytelling are often easy, because we tell stories informally every day. Once you take storytelling into the more formal contexts of performance or occupational uses, however, you may be faced with challenges you hadn't anticipated. You need information that goes beyond the basics. And you need it in a form that does not just tell you what to do but he ...more
Paperback, 219 pages
Published December 15th 2005 by August House Publishers (first published January 1st 1999)
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Jenny (Reading Envy)
Dec 19, 2012 rated it really liked it
This has some good tips in it, but I'm wondering if it is basic enough for the class I'm teaching. I feel a little overwhelmed at the moment. I'll be able to pull some sections of it into our discussion, especially on "What is a Story?" and "Learning the story."

Good resources to return to:
Apr 07, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: adult
This storytelling book seems to be a little more formal and full-of-itself than the previous ones I've read but it does make some interesting points.

Intro: The author talked about being in the moment when story telling - focus on the story you're telling now, not the way you told it before or will in the future. And don't think you can coast once you "figure it out" b/c there's no such thing. The author mentions a storytelling triangle in which the story, storyteller, and audience make the poin
Nov 20, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: storytelling
This book is aimed at the reader who has already had some experience with storytelling and is ready to learn more. Given the authors professional background, much of the book is focused on 'performance storytelling' so may not seem all that relevant to those that are interested in storytelling in other settings (particularly business/organisations). However, I particularly enjoyed the chapters on 'What is a Story?', 'Learning the Story' and 'Discovering the Meaning'. The information in these cha ...more
This informational book tells of all that is needed to tell good stories. You will find, however, there is nothing in it regarding how to create a good story. Instead, Doug Lipman, a storyteller by profession, teaches us the other skills. A storyteller may use the same story for years but may never tell the same one twice. They must be like a skipper reacting to local weather conditions in order to succeed with their audience. The tips in this book are aimed for storytellers of a professional na ...more
Robin Dawes
Jun 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
Definitely not aimed at beginners, and spends rather a lot of time on storytelling as a self-help therapy to uncover and release the storyteller's suppressed emotional traumas.

Nonetheless, Lipman provides many practical tools for preparing, analysing, learning and telling stories to different audiences. Even a beginner - in which category I certainly reside - can learn a great deal from this book.
Carro Herdegen
Mar 22, 2019 rated it liked it
Language: PG (1 swear, 0 "f"); Mature Content: G; Violence: G
Lipman explains storytelling processes and purposes in ways that are easy to understand. With all the tips and experience that he shares, even professional storytellers will have a hard time not finding something to improve while reading. Just because professional storytellers will learn from it doesn't mean that the amateur can't -- any level of storyteller can apply these principles to become better tellers.
Jeff Bobin
Apr 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
If you tell stories this is worth the time to read.

Very thought provoking about what is happening within you as you prepare and tell a story. Maybe more importantly it will help you look beyond the telling of the story and its potential for impact including on the teller.

There is also basic information on how to put a story together and prepare to tell it.
Jonathan Hardy
Mar 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great overview

Loved all the specific examples and suggestions d. Super helpful to read when you have a specific story in mind that you want to tell and an audience in mind.
Mar 25, 2019 rated it liked it
Read for IS409 - Storytelling.
Steve Garvin
Dec 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: storytelling
An insightful look into the life and craft of a professional storyteller. Lipman does a great job of distilling the craft into actionable steps to enhance your storytelling.
May 12, 2021 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-college
Useful resource for teachers, librarians, parents, or those hoping to improve their public speaking storytelling. Lipman reminds us that storytelling plays a vital role in our everyday lives, not just in times of pure entertainment. Big fan of storytelling for justice.
Rachel Blom
Feb 03, 2015 rated it really liked it
This book has a lot to teach about how to become a better storyteller, mostly in a more or less professional setting. The author shares his knowledge about the triangle of storytelling: the story itself and how you can make it fully yours, you yourself, and the audience and how to connect with the audience. You can tell this book was written from experience and not from research. Expect few references to other materials and mostly stuff learned while doing - which is perfectly legit by the way. ...more
Jan 15, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: stories
I'm no professional storyteller by any means, but I did appreciate diving into the world that Doug Lipman lives in. He discusses in detail how the storyteller, the story, and the audience interact in a single storytelling event. He also gives advice on how to improve.

I appreciate Lipman's chapters on picturing the scene, the Most Important Thing (MIT), story structure, and relating to the audience. I primarily read from a perspective of storytelling through video, but I think there are principle
Dec 18, 2011 rated it really liked it
Another excellent resource from Doug Lipman (see his Storytelling Coach book for a great read on how to help others learn to tell stories). Doug uses five sections to address the many dimensions of storytelling: 1) Transfer of immagery, 2) your relationship to the story, 3) your relationship to your listeners, 4) your relationship to yourself, and 5) putting it all together.

An easy to read and understand guide to becoming a better performer.
Amanda J
Dec 20, 2016 rated it really liked it
I read this as a way to improve my storytelling, not as a professional storyteller, but as a non-profit worker. I definitely enjoyed the way a multitude of subjects were presented, and the tips that came with it.
Renee Brown
Jan 15, 2016 rated it liked it
Intended for established telelrs who seek to improve their craft rather than beginners.

Not what I need for introductory workshop.
Nov 12, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: storytime, adult
A practical and psychological approach to storytelling. Very handy to have around, good advice and rather therapeutic to read.
Rebecca Ann
Read Pages 11-109 for class
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Feb 16, 2016
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