Friday, February 28, 2014

REVIEW: The Art of Storytelling

The Art of Storytelling
By: John Walsh

Genre: How-to, Writing, Storytelling, Christianity
Publication date: 12.18.2013
Pages: 160
Amazon link: The Art of Storytelling 

Date read: 2.27.2014
Recommended by: Read 2 Review

Summary:Many of us would love to hold the attention of a crowd, a classroom, or just a group of our friends by telling them a great story. We have felt the pressure of a public presentation or the disappointment of a story that is ignored and we are ready for more.In The Art of Storytelling, John Walsh talks through the steps to presenting a compelling story, outlining the strategies that helped him move from stutterer to storyteller as he fulfilled his calling of becoming a preacher. This book will help any person with a story to share, as it talks through all aspects of presentation, from what to do with your hands as you speak, to crafting a killer ending. It is especially relevant those who teach through the stories of the Bible or who would like to do so.

My thoughts

I picked up this book because I am a storyteller and wanted to learn how to be a better one.  The full title of the book is The Art of Storytelling: Easy Steps to Presenting an Unforgettable Story.  Had I just gone off of the cover alone, I would have been highly disappointed in this book (note: that is how I choose some of my books).  The description does not mention all of the talk of religion that happens throughout this book (there's my warning: this book is religion based and the author talks about scriptures and ministry throughout).  It does speak about him fulfilling his calling to be a preacher and that it is "especially relevant to those who teach through the stories of the Bible or who would like to do so."  This statement is not until the end of the description, though.  I assumed that this would be used as an example because the Bible is told through a lot of storytelling, that is how Jesus spread his word.  It is not until you check the genre at the bottom of the Amazon page (which, in this case, I forgot to do, that you see "ministry," "Christianity," "clergy," etc.

I'm sure you're wondering, if I took issue with this, why I have given it a 4 star rating instead of something lower.  My "warning" is followed by a "BUT": he makes very good points for public speaking and communication in general and a lot of these points could be very helpful for authors.  He also includes exercises to help make you a better storyteller, a better presenter.  I am a religious person so him speaking of religion is not what bothered me - it's the fact that there are some people who are not religious that will be offended and miss the good things that he had to say because of it.

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