The Natural Development of My Storytelling Gift

As a young boy I was good at telling stories. I discovered for short periods of time, I could captivate a group of people by providing humor or some particular insight they were interested in hearing.

This gift remained a mystery to me until I became an adult. I found the gift beneficial in building rapport with people in my private life and whatever career I was in at the time.

About 1995 I started my first website and began writing short comments about technology articles I discovered on the web. That activity wasn’t storytelling in itself, but as the years rolled by, I began writing longer segments. I was becoming comfortable expressing myself through writing and publishing in a public forum.

In April 2002 I started my Time Out Of Mind website. It quickly evolved in various types of content. I discovered I was writing a great deal more than previously and the popularity of that website grew quickly to many thousands of page views each day from readers all over the globe.

In April 2003 I became a member of Twin Oaks Toastmasters. I was fortunate to meet a number of advanced Toastmasters in this club and several members were excellent storytellers. I was soon inspired to learn from them and formalize my storytelling gift as best I could. That effort paid off very well for me.

Between my extensive writing on Time Out Of Mind and storytelling in my Toastmasters activities, I realized I was coming into my own style of expressing thoughts to a public audience. There are many facets to storytelling and some were easier to integrate into my style than others. Emotional storytelling can be the most demanding to give while most rewarding by involving audience members in the theme and outcome.

I received plenty of supportive and critical advice through Toastmasters. The members always strived to help each other and it was a very strong club during my five years there.

As I advanced in skill by completing projects in the Advanced Manuals, I found I was very eager and interested in the Storytelling manual. I worked hard on those particular speech projects to demonstrate what I had learned in my time in that club.

I scanned the relevant pages of that Storytelling manual (cover shown below) into one pdf multi-page document. Each project had its goals and each one was evaluated by a qualified Toastmaster providing me an oral and written evaluation of my speech.

Here are three of those speeches written out for you to read, They are contained within the other content on the particular linked web page:

I left Twin Oaks Toastmasters at the end of March 2008 after five years of membership as an Advanced Silver Toastmaster (badge shown below). Since then I have considered becoming a professional Storyteller using the digital art and life experience themes content written about on my Time Out Of Mind website.

Recently two new people I’ve met and spoken with, independently stated I should move in that storytelling direction and this post today is one of the steps towards that end.

Related links:

End of My Five-Year Toastmaster Journey

Pay It Forward

My Twin Oaks Toastmasters History

My PowerPoint Slideshows (many for Toastmaster presentations)

Two Favorite Slideshow Presentations (in pdf format):

Towards Effective Speaking

Knowledge Leadership

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About Don Larson

Using computer technology since June 1980.
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