On encouraging storytelling

Published in Features on 10 Nov 2014

More and more of my work revolves around storytelling. I co-lead Swansea Digital Storytelling (see swanseastorytelling.com ) and at least one day a week I train staff and make stories for the health service – this encompasses stories about things that have gone wrong as well as things that show best practice and stories of people’s personal journeys. I plan to share a number of ideas of how I encourage storytelling in Creative Quarter blogs over the next few months.

Encouraging Storytelling Idea no. 1

You know that awkward time when a new group is gathering  –  it might be for a workshop or a training session  – no one knows each other and they all arrive at different times...
An idea I use a lot at the beginning of such groups or workshops is, as soon as a few people have gathered, I ask them to find someone they don’t know and  share a story about something they have with them. It might be something they are wearing, something in their bag or pocket, an item of jewellery or even a scar. It is amazing how quickly the room is a buzz of conversation!

Encouraging Storytelling Idea no. 2

This is an idea I borrowed from my daughter who is a play specialist working in family support. She uses a thumb ball to help children talk about themselves. The idea is that when you catch the ball you talk about whatever question your thumb is on. Subjects range from your favourite music, to people who make you laugh to three wishes. Lots of ideas on how to use them can be found at http://thumball.publishpath.com/

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