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When we refer to a storyteller we mean somebody who is keeping an eye out for meaningful stories, documents these stories and then shares them with others.
Many people are storytellers in the sense that they share stories verbally at dinner parties, at the water cooler and other offline places. Certainly, we all have stories and sometimes are storytellers while we probably wouldn’t call ourselves that by default.
Storytellers in 2014 and in line with the The Authentic Storytelling Project are people who have a passion for sharing relevant stories. These could be community news items – similar to what Eastern Iowa News covered in 2009, success stories of collaboration inside an organization or personal experiences that others can learn from.
The key characteristics of storytellers often are:
- the interest in sharing stories.
- the interest in the community or a particular topic.
- the willingness to document and share stories.
- being comfortable being public.
- being excited when seeing others starting to become storytellers and share authentic stories.
Journalists certainly are storytellers and can help move the craft of authentic storytelling forward – no matter where they work. Social media marketers and bloggers can be storytellers and 0ften are most successful and relevant when they share authentic stories.
Storytellers take pride in:
- sharing truthful and authentic stories.
- being accurate.
- being engaging.
- listening to the audience for feedback to learn how a story could have been clearer or more meaningful.
- learning new tools to make content gathering and distribution even easier.
- listening to other people’s stories.
- inspiring others through stories.
- passing on knowledge to others through stories.
- sharing stories that otherwise would not have been told.
And as Peter Block once said when he visited Eastern Iowa: “If a story isn’t told, it dies.” And storytellers don’t want stories to die. They want them to be shared.