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Storyworthy: Engage, Teach, Persuade, and Change Your Life through the Power of Storytelling

4.30  ·  Rating details ·  3,239 ratings  ·  396 reviews
Paperback, 368 pages
Published June 22nd 2018 by New World Library (first published June 15th 2018)
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Average rating 4.30  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,239 ratings  ·  396 reviews

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Jenny (Reading Envy)
Don't be deterred by the self-help seeming title of this book. It is much deeper, and much more useful. (Sorry, not a huge fan of self-help books!) This is the real deal, from an award-winning storyteller, teaching the reader how to tell stories using very specific techniques. He leads the reader through brainstorming exercises, how to remove unimportant elements, how to figure out the core 5 seconds of a story (even some surprising movie plots), how to end, how to pace, all of it. I teach a sto ...more
Jan 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
1. This book made my imagination and my past run wild. I started thinking of stories I wanted to write immediately and wrote two of them out.
2. I was able to incorporate this information into my classroom and showed my students Matthew Dick’s TEDtalk.
3. I now want to listen to his stories.
4. I have been keeping a story of the day in my phone and I love finding those 5 second moments.
5. I have shared many ideas from this book with a lot of people and even bought it as a gift for
Aug 01, 2018 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 09, 2021 rated it liked it
*3.5 Stars*

This is a really good story crafting book that covers everything from how to come up with a good story ideas, what makes a good story, and how to actually craft a compelling story. It has a few great exercises that one can adopt to find compelling stories worth telling within the otherwise mundane events from our daily lives and our pasts.

My favourite thing I learned from this about compelling storytelling is how to make any story compelling by identifying your compelling 5-second mo
Apr 07, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2021
the simplest stories about the smallest moments in our lives are the most compelling - every story is essentially a five-second moment in the life of a human being

we are the sum of our experiences, the culmination of everything that has come before, the more we know about our past, the better we know ourselves

if the words 'and then' can be placed between two scenes - you're in trouble

enjoyable read, very literally taught how to tell a better story but also explored the importance of stories whic
Feb 13, 2021 rated it really liked it
A very enjoyable book about telling a good story, and even more, about finding and recognizing the stories in your own life to tell. I have been following the suggestion to write down, at the end of each day, the moment in that day that is "storyworthy", that makes that day different than any other day. It is a rewarding practice, and I feel like I have captured moments in my memory that might otherwise slip through. ...more
Jun 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
Mathew Dicks is a good storyteller and a fine teacher of his craft. This book bundles his knowledge, illustrated with several of his Moth Story Hour stories, in an easy to digest bundle. Some of his writing advice is familiar but no-less true (i.e.: write every day, pay attention to verb tense) and some of it is uniquely suited to oral storytelling. Writers and teachers of writing will learn from this, and anyone seeking to participate in a storytelling performance should heed his guidance.

Jan 01, 2021 rated it really liked it
Interesting book for anyone who wants to be a better partner, friend and father/mother.
The first half of the book is perfect. The structure is clear, the stories are fun to read and the information is plentiful.
The second half felt more or less like filling the pages just for the sake of it.
I think the saying "less is more" would apply perfectly for the second half.
4 stars, could've been 5 easily.
Well done Matthew Dicks.
Aug 02, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: recommend
This book is filled with valuable tips on crafting and telling stories whether to family members and friends or at work or on stage. Matthew Dicks is a teacher, writer, and storyteller, and he brings all his knowledge and experiences into writing an excellent how-to on storytelling.
Deb in UT
Apr 20, 2021 rated it really liked it
I admire people who can tell effective stories. Matthew Dicks does a fabulous job explaining how to tell them. I've taken a few notes here, but I may have to purchase this book. I definitely need to practice the ideas he suggests. Dicks has convinced me that knowing how to tell good stories will improve my social interactions and help me be a more effective influence.

Dicks tells some of his own stories throughout the book. This keeps it entertaining and interesting. He uses his stories as a teac
Lena VanAusdle
May 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I love this book! It’s filled with entertaining stories and practical advice for becoming an engaging storyteller. The audiobook is great because you get to hear the author himself, but I recommend getting the paper version as well, you’ll want to make notes and go back to specific sections for review.
Jan 10, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I read this book piecemeal so as to implement the exercises set forth, primarily homework for life and crash and burn. They really are worth your time.

I would absolutely recommend this book, even if you aren’t particularly interested in utilizing the author’s advice for storytelling purposes, just for the stories he tells throughout.
Apr 25, 2021 rated it really liked it
Three key takeaways from this book for me have been:
1. Books are lakes; stories are rivers
2. Five second rule
3. Movement in story is shown with buts and therefores. Don't use ands
Jan 17, 2022 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thought, non-fiction
Well, that was interesting.

I picked up this book because I love stories and storytelling - so anything that might give some tips on how to do it better is worth a read to me.

The title does feel a little too "self-help-y" and the first part falls into all those stereotypes of bad self-help books - full of autobiographical notes that do not seem related to the topic of the book... But then the meat of the book is revealed - the author actually dissects his own stories, and shows us how they are cr
Santhosh Guru
Jul 25, 2022 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: storytelling
Whoa. This is a super awesome book on storytelling.

The title sounds like a cheesy self-help book, but it surprised me. I expected it to be like a typical non-fiction book, but it reads like a beautiful novel.

The author tells many powerful stories of his life and explains how we can also learn to tell stories. Not just fantasy stories, but authentic and honest stories of our lives that can connect with people. I never was aware of the storytelling communities or the art of storytelling. I knew s
Kenny Ahlstrom
Jan 13, 2022 rated it liked it
3.5? My brother Kevin RAVES about this book. If you ever meet him, there’s a 70% chance that he brings this book up something’s he’s learned from it.

Storyworthy is an interesting listen that helps you craft stories more poignantly and powerfully. We tell stories all the time so might as well learn to tell them right!

I learned a lot and want to implement the things Matthew talked about - which is actually saying a lot considering I read tons of books and don’t take any meaningful action afterwa
Robert Case
May 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I listened to the version of the book, narrated by the author. It was excellent. Found myself motivated to begin his recommended 'Homework For Life' practice. ...more
Dec 18, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Read as summary and loved the insights this book offers. The rating is purely based on the content (minus all the fluff if any) because I read detailed summaries.
The daily habit of focussing on the highlight 5 second story of the day is great one to start building. Hopefully next year!
Jun 08, 2021 rated it liked it
Beautifully balanced and elegant storytelling. Full of insightful tips on context creation, narrative crafting, scene-setting, and use of humour. Throughout the work, useful insights are provided on how to improve you skills and gain an advantage in the oral game. A relevant book for anyone who wants to see expert storytelling, and take home some lessons to be used in all facets of daily life.
Obada Kattih
Jul 11, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a remarkable book written by a truly remarkable guy. He tells incredibly captivating stories about dying and coming back to life, getting tried for a crime he didn't commit, getting robbed at gun point, and so much more. It's incredible that one man could have lived through so much.

He argues that you don't need to go through crazy life experiences to tell captivating stories. We all have incredible stories to tell from our daily lives but we simply don't realize it. The story someone te
Nikhil Thota
Sep 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: communication
Matthew Dicks has by all accounts lived an... interesting life. I suggest checking out some of his stories told at The Moth before deciding if you want to read this book.

For context, The Moth is a non-profit dedicated to the art and craft of storytelling. They have competitions in dozens of cities year-round, run storytelling workshops, and have a podcast called The Moth Radio Hour with the best stories shared at their events.

Having honed the art of storytelling for a large portion of his adult
Jun 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I've read two novels by Matthew Dicks, and I've been regularly reading his blog for a while. Storytelling is a thing that interested me, and I knew I enjoyed his writing, so I picked this up. My copy has a lot of tabs added in to mark interesting bits. Averages almost one for every 12 pages of the book. I don't mark up books, this is what I do. There is so much in here worth taking note of and wanting to be able to find again later. This book is engaging and presents information in such an easy ...more
Aug 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
A very readable and entertaining book. Although I highly doubt I will ever be an on stage storyteller, Matthew Dicks provides very practical pointers on how to deliver effective stories. He uses his own stories as examples and walks us through the processes of crafting then delivering ‘storyworthy ‘ tales.
I can see myself utilizing several pointers to communicate more effectively on a daily basis. The information is also helpful because the exercises could aid in fostering personal insight.
I can
Zohreh Avatefi hafez
Feb 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Some glorious notes you can find in this book
About how start and how finish your story telling and difference between a story teller and writer
Brodie Gron
Oct 28, 2020 rated it did not like it
The first few chapters fundamentally steer the book away from the promise of the subtitle.
Jul 19, 2022 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Before you read this book, keep in mind that this is specifically designed for people who are presenting their own lived stories before an audience, or perhaps writing a short story about such experiences, and less so for people who are writing lengthy novels or perhaps a series, especially ones that are fictitious or in the fantasy genre.

That said, there is advice in here that is still useful to someone interested in writing an extended novel or series, because there are some tenets of story
Aug 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: people, audiobook
Until I listened to this book I didn’t really understand what being a good storyteller actually sounded like and meant. I mainly picked it up because I thought it would help me with presenting patients at hospital (jury is still out if it helped with this) and get rid of all of those “um’s and ah’s” that always seem to plague me. However, this book offers so much more than ways to improve your story’s presentation, structure and confidence. As you read this book you’ll soon realise that to be a ...more
Mico Go
Sep 12, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2021-bangers
4.5 stars.

I'm a sucker for stories in whatever format - vlogs, books, movies, podcasts, and whether it's fiction or non-fiction. I adore hearing friends excitedly recount events, sharing in the emotions engulfing them in the moment. I'm a firm believer in the power of stories, and how omnipresent these are in daily life. Whether it's catching up with a friend, presenting for school, or doing a job interview, the necessity and gravity stories carry are often overlooked. Much more, effective story
Björn Bäcker
Jul 24, 2022 rated it really liked it
Storyworthy teaches different aspects of storytelling in a fun and easy way.

Matthew Dicks highlights the importance of capturing the five-second moments in our lives to be able to tell interesting stories. He gives his readers “homework for life” where everyone should take five minutes out of their day to find important moments that mattered to them and write them down.

For the construction of stories he offers different techniques that help to start, frame and end them, along with some do’s an
Mar 24, 2022 rated it it was amazing
I recommend this book to literally anyone. From extroverts trying to polish their speaking and storytelling, to introverts who have a terrible time expressing themselves through words, and who have no idea how to talk to people. This book has so much that is useful for everyday life, including for your job, your interactions with various people, and learning to slow down your life by appreciating the important moments of each day. Even novelists can learn a huge amount of helpful tips for storyt ...more
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Matthew Dicks is the internationally bestselling author of the novels Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend, Something Missing, Unexpectedly, Milo, The Perfect Comeback of Caroline Jacobs, and the upcoming novels The Other Mother and Cardboard Knight, as well as the nonfiction Storyworthy: Engage, Teach, Persuade, and Change Your Life Through the Art of Storytelling. His novels have been translated into ...more

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28 likes · 4 comments
“Seek out the moments when you felt your heart move. When something changed forever, even if that moment seems minuscule compared to the rest of the story. That will be your five-second moment. Until you have it, you don’t have a story. When you find it, you’re ready to begin crafting your story.” 3 likes
“Telling stories about your life lets people know they’re not alone; and it lets some of the people closest to you — like family and loved ones — see your life apart from the context of family and without the kind of revisionist hindsight we can sometimes fall into concerning the ones we love most.” 2 likes
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