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5 Easy Ways to Identify Great Storytellers

I love this quote by Jessica Baris. I think it fully describes the unique traits of a storyteller. These people are all around us, we just have to engage all our senses to find them.

“A storyteller is a spinner of yarns, a teller of tales, a bard, minstrel, rhymer or raconteur who delights in audiences and attentive faces that ask, “what’s next?” Storytellers play their part in delivering lessons to society, they create communities by bringing people together in a shared experience. Storybook reading has a focus on the book and the pictures. Storytelling eliminates that object that comes between the teller and the audience.”
-Jessica Baris, writer

Many times I am asked to “embed” inside organizations to help identify the storytellers -to find those people who can be content advocates for the organization. I have a small checklist that I try to use. I try to put my listening hat on!

    1. Turn Around and Listen
      We must turn away from the action; watch and listen to the reactions of those watching events unfold. These are the people who can provide rich narratives as that action is happening in real time.
    2. Find the talkers
      Who are the people that know how to talk and share? Who are the people in your organization that use rich adjectives and descriptors in both the spoken form and the written form? Who are the people who have a unique skill set that can re-create an event using their talents?
    3. Find the characters
      Who are the individuals around you that act as magnets for conversations? They are the individuals that have a different set of filters and can articulate in a way that draws people in to their little moments.
    4. Look beyond the leadership
      We typically default to the leaders in our organization to become the content creators. How about the receptionist, the volunteer, the driver? These are the individuals that brighten our days with their words, songs, and their happy mannerisms.
    5. Engage with their emotion
      We must learn to feel the heart of the organization. The heart lies in the people that share with powerful emotion. They fill our soul, drawing us in to their mini-moments. They are the piano players in lobbies, the singers in operating rooms, the graphic artists painting a mural, the concierge welcoming us as walk through the front door. They are the storytellers.

As storytellers, we are advocates. We are advocates for finding and telling rich stories. Our goal is to help organizations find content advocates; storytellers inside organizations.

To learn more about our Content Advocate Program and ways to find the storytellers inside your organization, click here to read my eBook.


Author Info

Bobby Rettew