Learn the Effective 5 Principles of Dramatic Storytelling
A Picture Tells a WorkLife Story
I was going through files on my laptop and came across the above photo.
As a WorkLife learning practitioner and writer, I collaborate with performing, visual and literary artists to deliver workshops that bring the arts to WorkLife learning. This photo is from a workshop we did, called: How To Deliver Great Presentations, Incorporating Story.
As I continued going through my files, I found the related story that went with this photo — it was part of the script for the performance we did that evening. It was an interactive performance — we demonstrated various techniques over the course of the evening, each of which the audience would then set to work to apply that technique to their WorkLife story.
One of the techniques we demonstrated that evening was how to apply The 5C’s of the Storytelling Arc: Circumstances, Conflict, Crisis, Climax, Conclusions to help people tell their WorkLife Story.
By way of demonstration,” Professor Hannah’ was following my story arc on a Flipchart, as I told it, and would call out what point I was on the arc as I got to it.
This is the script — with notes that I rediscovered when going through my files:
Carmel: My greatest challenge and how I overcame it. My greatest challenge was also my greatest fear, speaking in public. I changed my WorkLife from Investment banking to people development, returning to university as a mature student. On completing my degree, I joined a Career Consultancy firm and launched my new WorkLife. [Hannah: “Circumstances”]
The one-to-one coaching work came easily to me. Workshops and presentations didn’t. I was so incredibly nervous talking in front of people. I spoke to my boss and asked if I could focus on the coaching programmes and not the workshops and presentations. He said I’m sorry, Carmel, but no, that’s not possible. He didn’t know the sleepless nights I had leading up to these events. I knew I had to do something to overcome my nerves. [Hannah: “Conflict”]
I discovered a week-long workshop on Presentation skills. Monday to Thursday morning, we worked in small groups developing our presentation skills. On Thursday afternoon and Friday morning, each one of us had to deliver a presentation to the larger group of 80 people. This would be filmed.
As Thursday afternoon approached, right on cue, my nerves started to kick in, and I knew they would get worse if I didn’t just get it over with. I approached the guy responsible for filming, and I asked if I could go first. He said I’m sorry, Carmel, but no, that’s not possible.
So, I took my seat, and as time went by, I grew more and more nervous. Towards the end of the afternoon, my name was finally called. The set-up was that when our name was called, we went out into the foyer to be prepped, motivated and energised by one of the team. The girl working with me began to do that, and I burst into tears. I was just so incredibly nervous. She had to take me to a private room, and we both knew I was in no state to go on. [Hannah: “Crisis”]
When the day had ended, the facilitator came to talk to me and asked if I would give my presentation the following morning. He knew how hard I’d worked all week. I said the only way I could do it was if I could go first because otherwise, I knew I would bottle it again.
This was much easier to arrange this time. I left saying I would really work on my presentation, which I already knew inside out, and upside down, sleep on it and make my final decision in the morning. My decision was yes, I would do it, I’d put so much work into it, and I knew I would regret it if I didn’t.
So, I was first up that Friday morning, and it went amazingly. I actually got a standing ovation! [Hannah: “Climax”]
Afterwards, I was chatting to someone on my team, and he said, well done, and I said thanks, and I don’t think my voice shook too much, and he said, no, and your neck didn’t go red either! I hadn’t realised I’d had a red neck all week!
Taking myself completely out of my comfort zone was how I overcame my greatest challenge and my greatest fear. [Hannah: “And Conclusion!”]
Note: Hannah draws the arc on the flip chart (dressed in gown and hat).
The 5 C’s of the Storytelling Arc to Help Tell Your Story Part 1
And that’s the 5 C’s of the Storytelling Arc to Help Tell Your Story: Circumstances, Conflict, Crisis, Climax, and Conclusion.
Now your turn.
Find or craft a story that you want to tell and apply the 5 techniques of dramatic storytelling, step by step as ‘Professor Hannah’ and I did.
In The 5 C’s of the Storytelling Arc to Help Tell Your Story Part 2 I share another story we demonstrated at our interactive workshop: How To Deliver Great Presentations, Incorporating Story, to help reinforce Learning the Effective 5 Techniques of Dramatic Storytelling.
NB I published these stories in the order I found the pictures and related stories. In the order of play for the interactive workshop, the performances were the other way round I.e the published story Part 2 was performed first and the published story Part 1 was performed second.
This story was originally published on 10/4/21. I needed to republish it to add updates and also to tell you
… The Continuing Story …
The pandemic brought about a change in my WorkLife from delivering in-person individual coaching sessions and group workshops to creating resources to help people self direct their WorkLife learning.
In the last three years, I’ve published 30 books and over 200 stories.
Each book and each story is based on real life struggles and successes that people have encountered in their WorkLife. They also detail the exercises that helped navigate through these situations, which are set as assignments for readers to adapt to their WorkLife situations and learning needs.
I believe stories are a powerful mechanism for teaching, a powerful medium to learn through, and a powerful way to communicate who you are and what you stand for.
My inspiration for creating my work comes from a lifelong passion for learning. My work has taught me that the one thing in life that can never be taken away from you is your learning.
School of WorkLife Guiding Statement: To create resources that are helpful, insightful and inspiring in helping people to pursue their WorkLives with greater clarity, purpose, passion and pride by creating continuous WorkLife learning programmes and resources that are accessible to everyone.
The resources I create will help you take ownership of self directing your learning in your own space and in your own time.
School of WorkLife helps you self-direct your WorkLife learning through resources that have been created to help you to take ownership of your learning in your own space and in your own time.
What is Self Directed Learning?
Self-Directed Learning is when an individual is motivated to take the initiative and responsibility on decisions related to their own learning. It is a series of independent actions and judgements free from external control and constraint.
Resources to Help You Self-Direct Your Learning
You may find the books below from The School of WorkLife Book Series helpful in meeting your learning needs as a self directed learner. Tap the book title to see a preview of what’s inside each book.
Tap The School of WorkLife Book Series to view the complete collection of books. From here, you can tap on each individual title to see a preview of what’s inside each book.
Founder of School of WorkLife, Carmel O’ Reilly is a learning practitioner and writer. She creates resources to help people self-direct their WorkLife learning. These include a Collection of Books which originated from her first book, Your WorkLife Your Way and a Learn Through Reading Series of Case Studies. which originated from her latest book WorkLife Book Club.
That’s the power of writing (and reading, which is an integral part of the craft for writers). It helps you find, develop and tell the right story at the right time in all WorkLife situations – in day-to-day communication: WorkLife and feedback conversations, presentations, talks, and negotiations, at interviews, and when socialising and networking in building and maintaining good relationships. The practice of writing helps you to tell the stories that express who you are in an interesting and engaging way.