24 Jun 2018

Tell stories along a path? It is possible

Of course, I do believe in telling Personal Stories. And not only believe in them, but tell them, record them whenever possible, teach them.

Two years ago, I created Witty Storytellers Online club, to be able to continue a storytelling workshop, improving my and others storytelling skills, meeting after meeting. 

Till now, I created the Agendas, invited workshop leaders or lead them myself. 

From July, I will be the president of the club Witty Storytellers Online. 

We do meet, as any other toastmaster club, or most of them, twice a month: Thursday. London time 6am in the morning, but in fact we open doors already half an hour before. Second and forth week of the month so far. And till now, we were "advanced" because it is easier to create as thus, and most who joined where advanced anyway. That will change soon. 

Out goal is telling stories better and better. "Personal stories mostly, deep felt stories, stories that stick and remain." We are called Witty, because we do it in a warm, fun, informal environment. Not because all the stories we tell are "funny stories". So should we keep the name witty? It is not easy to change a name that stick to you.

I used my CC from the first time all for stories. The Icebreaker is a story. Then it says, use what you learned and add to it what you learn from the next projects. I did.

For the path Leadership Development, all my projects where either stories told by myself, or stories told by others organized by me, with Paul White. He from Arlington, I from London, and at the end we created an international storytelling festival. The bigger event, the Project asked me! 

1 comment:

charlotte@GarlandDrake.com said...

Good Morning Julie - California USA. I enjoy very much your blog. I a bit younger than you (79 in August).

Here in Southern California many of our clubs are not only challenged with the change but with the loss or possible loss of the importance of developing "soft skills" (people to people communication skills). As an example - videos are replacing the valuable information provided in the Successful Club Series, The Better Speaker Series, The Leadership Excellence Series. Yes, a lot of that information is now available in Pathways. However, I believe it is BETTER received and learned when presented by a club member. Maybe both ways would be good. Except Pathways leaves these out of the equation.

As I see it there are 2 major problems with Pathways. First is the software. A number of messy details, the fact that it is Compliance Software - which by the nature of that kind of software - is not user friendly. Second, there are too many choices ... in the beginning.

When I was young, the first retail job I had was one Christmas school break, I worked in a small department store in the woman's dress department. Here is where I learned the lesson of THREE. Never let a woman go into the dressing room with more than three choices. Then, when she chooses one, remove the two and bring her two more.

Pathways offers us so many choices - however it is difficult to choose. Especially if you are NEW to Toastmasters. It IS overwhelming. It as if we have walked into a BIG LIBRARY. However, there at least we'd be able to pick up the books, look at the table of contents, flip through a few pages and see if we want to spend time reading this book.

I have developed a REFERENCE GUIDE that many people have found very helpful. However, as a mentor to a very new club with almost 100% membership have never even visited a Toastmasters meeting. Also where I'd guess about 80% members, English is not their first language. In addition, the club I below to is 60 years old with some who have been active members for 23 years. (One of our members moved to be closer to his grandchildren. He was a member for 52 years.)

Currently I am doing a revision of the REFERENCE GUIDE to help guide current members to make the transition and to become mentors for the new members. IF we do NOT keep the current, long-time members active in the clubs, we will loose a lot of the wisdom and experience the provide. This is important to any group.

Thank you for sharing your wisdom and experiences.
Good Night to you - in your time zone.
Charlotte Jayne Drake, DTM

Costa Mesa, California USA