Storytelling: Craft & Tell Your Story With Impact

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Learn how to craft and deliver your story with our Acting & Drama classes in Sydney.

Everybody has a story to tell. Stories captivate, entertain and motivate people. Being able to confidently tell your story at a gathering, a job interview, business event or on stage is a powerful rewarding skill.

The art of performance storytelling has surged in popularity recently with live shows including The Moth, Bespoken Word and Storyclub providing a stage for storytellers. Its a valuable ability you can bring into everyday life, as you hold your own at a dinner party, deliver your best ever elevator pitch, win at your next job interview – or just generally just keep 'em laughing and engaged to the end.

In this course, professional storyteller, comedian and facilitator John Knowles will share his insights and techniques for converting your special memories into stories and bringing them to life with your voice – for performance, for your business or personal memoir. A practical step-by-step guide to being able and ready to tell an entertaining true story.

John will guide participants through the process of finding and choosing a great personal story, shaping and distilling it into a tight script and then applying stagecraft and presentation skills. Students are offered writing tips and illustrated examples to assist them in developing their stories. Participants should walk away feeling they are ready to step onto any stage and tell their compelling story with confidence knowing that it will be heard and remembered.

Course outline

Session 1: What’s Your backstory?
We take a look at what makes exceptional oral storytelling, the motivations for telling our stories and why humour and pathos have so much impact

Session 2: Pull us in with a yarn
We discuss oral storytellers we admire and why, and share a quick little story from your life

Session 3: Brave the elements
The basic storytelling concepts and terms, including setting the scene, hooking the listener, strong character choices, the power of vulnerability, raising the stakes and what you can do if you notice listeners losing interest

Session 4: Chasing our tales
We chart the people, passions, pinnacles and potholes of your life in search of the most story-worthy moments. We learn how to match the right story to the right audience by considering context, genre and tone

Session 5: Crafting your narrative
How and where to begin your story, plot-points, arc of the narrative and fleshing out the good bits

Session 6: Finessing & fine tuning
Playing roles and characters, emphasising sensory and emotional elements and how to trigger the five emotional states an audience should experience while listening to your story

Session 7: Selling yourself and your story – for stage and other contexts
The difference between stagecraft and stage presence, varying your voice, body language and movement – plus a practice run telling your story

Learning outcomes

In this course you will:

  • increase your knowledge of the styles, mechanics and craft of storytelling in an experiential, supportive environment
  • receive comedy writing and performance tips, methods and learn why they work
  • be taught the ‘Art of Proactive Listening’, which is crucial to drawing out interesting stories from other people and a skill that can be life changing when applied to personal relationships
  • learn John’s practical unique methods for rediscovering, writing and editing memories and family tales into powerful narratives suited to oral storytelling
  • build confidence in your storytelling performance skills and have coaching in the stagecraft necessary to engage and hold the attention of a live audience
  • chart the people, passions, pinnacles and potholes of your life and uncover story-worthy incidents and patterns then choose one to hone and deliver well
  • experiment with context, genre and tone, playing with characters and perspectives to trigger emotional responses from your audience
  • enjoy plenty of genuine laughter and engaging conversation

The course will illustrate how the ability to confidently tell your own story is not only an entertaining performance skill but also a valuable interpersonal communication tool that can be employed when meeting new people, describing or branding yourself and or illuminating chapters of your history. Previous participants have also commented that telling their own true stories has enabled them to discover humour and healing in retelling sad or serious incidents from their past.

What to bring
  • A notebook and pen or laptop/device for writing.

This course has no current classes. Please join our waitlist and we will notify you when we have places available. Join Waitlist

This course has no current classes. Please join our waitlist and we will notify you when we have places available. Join Waitlist

Course testimonials:

  • said: Structure of content, opportunity to practice and get feedback.

  • said: I walked away feeling I am ready to step onto any stage and tell my compelling story with confidence knowing that it will be heard and remembered! The class was interactive and everyone is open to give constructive feedback for each other how to be a better storyteller. John was well prepared and able to guide me step by step to craft my story. Thank you John!

  • said: The course was well organised, engaging, fun, and also helped me step into new learning in a supportive environment. I would love to do a part 2.

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