Long before Al Gore invented the internet, Seanchaís, Irish storytellers, passed along history, laws and information through oral verse. In Irish folklore, it’s unlucky to tell a story before sundown. So, the greatest tales were shared throughout the night with family and friends at boisterous wakes or huddled beside a warm fire.
Both Ellen and I share the badge of honor of being the babies of our large Irish –Canadian families. The gift of the gab ran through our veins long before we ever even kissed the Blarney Stone (see pic). Our households were filled with siblings competing for airtime after long adventurous days at school, sport or on stage.
In our homes, being the loudest in the room didn't necessarily mean your story would be heard, but a creative delivery would almost always garner the room’s full attention. We both learned another valuable secret at a very young age; if you want someone to listen to your story, you’d better be a good listener.
For Ellen and I, all those nights spying on our older siblings and straining to hear everymuffled word through the air vents now holds great value in our careers and personal lives. Simultaneous conversations with multiple distractions were, and are our norm. We share the ability to “read a room”, through our own individual lens. We are able to see, hear and understand a room’s dynamic and leverage that knowledge to deliver our authentic message to be heard.
No two people will ever recall the same story through the same lens. That’s because we all have are own unique point of view (POV). Our POV, brings into account our own life experience, our own truth and our own training. It is the magical piece that draws people in and ultimately drives home your message.
Someone once told me, you can’t teach people how to tell a story. You can’t teach someone how to be funny or how to have stage presence or to have what we call in the entertainment industry “it”.
I say that's a pile of malarkey.
You can strengthen your backhand or straighten out your golf swing with a few lessons from a good coach and the same is true with storytelling. The ability to effectively tell a good story can sway key decision makers and impact results in the boardroom, the courtroom and in front of key stakeholders. By practicing and applying the principles of our Sway STEPS, you will learn how to effectively communicate and authentically connect with your audience.
If you fearlessly explore your authentic point of view through storytelling, you will drive results. And one day, when you end up entertaining a room full of your friends and family late at night by a warm fire you will become a true Seanchaí.