Narativ: Making Storytellers out of Everyday People

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Yesterday night I had the pleasure of attending Storytelling Night at the University Settlement, put on by Narativ. Narativ is a consulting group that has perfected out of extensive research and experience the best storytelling strategies to get your point across effectively.

I heard about this experience through Brett from Open Society Institute, since several OSI staff have attended Narativ workshops. I arrived at Storytelling Night not really knowing what to expect, but as the lights dimmed in the audience and storytellers stepped onstage, I was held captive by the humorous, warm, and touching stories that were shared one after the other. One individual spoke about the story how he met his fiancé, another about gaining acceptance as a lesbian from her strict family. My personal favorite was an anecdote recalling how a young boy of perhaps 10 or 11 managed to sneak past airport security and make it all the way to Israel before getting caught and being sent home. I left feeling emotionally connected to these people that I had never met before and probably will never meet again.

And that brings me again to the power of the narrative. By weaving a powerful story, you can make such an impression on others; who knows which listener will be inspired to take action as a result of your moving words?

The following is a video excerpt from Paul Browde and Murray Nossel, the two South African men who founded Narativ and share an expertise in storytelling. Listen to them tell their stories using the methods that they teach in the workshops.

[vimeo http://vimeo.com/28950319%5D

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