The Art of Storytelling: Easy Steps to Presenting an Unforgettable Story
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Moody Publishers / 2014 / Paperback

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The Art of Storytelling: Easy Steps to Presenting an Unforgettable Story

Moody Publishers / 2014 / Paperback

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Stock No: WW411334

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Product Description

Have you ever sat around a campfire enthralled as one of your companions spun an unforgettable story - and wished you could do the same? Many of us would love to hold the attention of a crowd, a classroom, or just a group of our friends by telling them a great story. We have felt the pressure of a public presentation or the disappointment of a story that is ignored and we are ready for more.

In The Art of Storytelling, John Walsh talks through the steps to presenting a compelling story, outlining the strategies that helped him move from stutterer to storyteller as he fulfilled his calling of becoming a preacher. This book will help any person with a story to share, as it talks through all aspects of presentation, from what to do with your hands as you speak, to crafting a killer ending.

Whether you're telling bedtime stories to your children or Bible stories to a congregation, this book will take your storytelling to a new level.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 192
Vendor: Moody Publishers
Publication Date: 2014
Dimensions: 8 X 5.25 X .5 (inches)
ISBN: 0802411339
ISBN-13: 9780802411334

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Publisher's Description

Can you captivate an audience with your story?

Many of us would love to hold the attention of a crowd, a classroom, or just a group of our friends by telling them a great story. We have felt the pressure of a public presentation or the disappointment of telling a story that others ignore. We are ready to be heard, ready to captivate.

In The Art of Storytelling, John Walsh takes us through the steps to presenting a compelling story—outlining the strategies that helped him move from stutterer to storyteller. This book will help any person with a story to share by walking you through all aspects of presentation . . . from what to do with your hands as you speak all the way to crafting a killer ending.

Whether you’re telling bedtime stories to your children or Bible stories to a congregation, this book will take your storytelling to a new level.

Author Bio

JOHN WALSH is the founder of BibleTelling and the Christian Storytelling Conference. His network of BibleTelling trainers conduct seminars in the US as well as 21 other countries. The most exciting seminar is the annual BibleTelling Seminar in Israel. Those who attend tell 120 stories of the Bible at the 45 locations where they happened. The Art of Storytelling was first published in 2003, and then republished in 2014. His book, All the Stories of the Bible is used worldwide by missionaries, pastors, and other Christian workers. John shares his Bible stories on a 2-minute daily radio spot called All the Stories of the Bible in a Year and a 4-minute weekly radio spot called Telling the Stories of the Bible.

Editorial Reviews

Wonderful! Everyone has the opportunity to share stories – some of us do a great job and others need a boost. The Art of Storytelling breaks down the steps necessary to tell a wonderful story! Mr. Walsh writes in a soft conversational tone that offers the reader the opportunity to learn without the fear of failure. A must read for everyone wanting to tell their story a little better. This would be a great gift for seminarians and anyone in the communications field. Enjoy! NetGalley and Moody Publishers provided an advanced review copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Review by Lynda Smock, October 10, 2013, Goodreads

What I liked about this book was that story-telling wasn't restricted to just kids, it's presented as a way of sharing that can work for everyone. And while the first application for story-telling that came to mind was for sermons, this book also shows that it's possible to use it in a classroom setting.

If you're looking for a book that will help you in Children's ministry or in any ministry that requires public speaking, you should definitely pick up this book.  4 out of 5 stars.

Review by Eustacia Tan, October 20, 2013, Net Galley

People of all ages enjoy listening to a good story told. Stories are often a more effective means of conveying instruction and truths than didactic, analytical teaching. John D. Walsh, in The Art of Storytelling: Easy Steps to Presenting an Unforgettable Story gives readers, whether new to the art or are already experienced public speakers, tips and tools for improving their craft. Through numerous exercises and activities, the reader is encouraged to participate and practice honing skills that are introduced in each chapter.

John wants stories to become the point of telling stories. Too often in modern public speaking, stories are relegated to "spice up" sermons and presentations and to illustrate some points in them. The modern mindset has been conditioned to accept that stories are for children (and must have a stated application or moral), that "real teaching" happens in didactic lectures. John discusses how people relate to and recall stories far better than didactic teaching - lectures and sermons with "the big idea" or "here are three points."

The book itself is divided into three sections. Part one, the longest section, teaches the aspiring storyteller fourteen steps in preparing to tell a story. John further subdivides these steps into ten essential steps toward telling a good story, and four optional steps that may be taken to raise a good story to a great one.

This book is written by a Christian with the Christian audience in mind, but it can be valuable to anyone who speaks to an audience, whether to one or a million or anywhere in-between. Particularly, sections one and two are applicable to all public storytelling engagements. Even the third section can be valuable as case studies on how to turn written materials that may not initially strike the reader as a story, into an engaging story that can be told to an audience.

I highly recommend this book for all public speakers, but especially for pastors and church teaching staff. Rating 5 of 5 stars.

Review Mark Kubo, Net Galley, October 21, 2013

In The Art of Storytelling, John Walsh clearly demonstrates that storytelling is one of the most effective ways to connect with people's hearts and minds.

Walsh's valuable insights from a lifetime of storytelling are applicable to parents (who want to capture their children's imaginations), business men (who want to impart their vision to clients and associates), teachers (who want students to think on their own), public speakers (who want to improve their skills), actors and writers (who want their characters to speak volumes - even without words), and anyone who wants to improve their personal conversation skills.

Walsh packs much from his storytelling workshops into this clear, easy to read guide.

The author makes elusive communication concepts simple to understand, and he gives helpful advice for practical questions like - What do you with your hands while you speak? and How do I handle nervousness?

Towards the end of the book, Walsh talks about BibleTelling - using storytelling techniques to communicate Bible stories. In this section, Walsh explains why Bible teachers should not just give the point of the story away (which teachers are frequently tempted to do). Instead, Walsh shows teachers how to harness the power of storytelling to draw people in and get them to think on their own. As a result, life-changing connections are made!

Review by David Rainey, Net Galley, October 22, 2013

This book is not just a book about the techniques and methods of story telling. It is also a personal odyssey of the author's learning path toward great story-telling. He was inspired by people who spoke well. He was encouraged to pursue the path of public speaking by people who believed in him. He was willing to be trained, and to learn how to make stories come alive not just for himself but for the audience. The two pieces of advice Walsh provides in this book is worth remembering. Learn it well. Then teach it well. I am full of praise for this very powerful book of ideas that not only gives tips of how to craft and to present stories effectively, it inspires even the meekest persons or untrained individual to desire to give storytelling a shot!

I recommend this book highly for all speakers and speakers to be. Rating: 5 stars of 5.

Review by Conrad Yap, Net Galley, November 9, 2013

There seems much disagreement on if this is a good or bad book based on Biblical examples. Don't miss the point! People learn with stories, they remember with stories! Whether this is Biblical stories, a presentation at a seminar or reading to kids - don't we want them to remember? If not it's just a waste of time! And I don't like wasting time.

In full disclosure, I received a copy from NetGalley for an honest review. And honestly, there's a lot of good information here, packed in a concise but complete book chock full of tips from warming up your voice before hand to dealing with the umm..uh...well... stammers. He gives solutions for nerves, and emphasizes practicing.

This is a good book with a lot of great info. If you get stalled because the examples he uses are "religious" you're missing a lot of good content that works just as well in a business presentation. Rating 5 out of 5 stars.

Review by Jan Hoadley, Net Galley 11/21/13

The Art Of Storytelling will help you if you need to be able to tell a better story, or give a speech.  Whether you are asked to tell a Story at Church, or teach a class.  The Art of Story Telling could benefit you.

John Walsh breaks this book up into short easy to read chapters, giving you techniques for Storytelling, in your Bible Class, Sunday School or anywhere els you may need to tell a story.  I wish I had this book when I worked with Children, because as short as it is, it is full with wonderful gyms, that can help you for years to come.

If you want to be able to tell a better story when you are asked to speak, or if you are a Sunday School Teacher who wants to better illustrate a lesson I would definitely reccommend The Art of Story Telling. Rating 5 out of 5 stars.

Review by Michelle Kidwell, Net Galley 11/21/13

This may be the most fun book I’ve read this year. As a writer, reader, and story lover, the title The Art of Storytelling grabbed me. Storytelling sometimes seems mysterious and out of reach. Storytellers are people from the past. You hear about ancient stories like Homer’s The Illiad and The Odyssey being passed down orally by storytellers. We’ve lost that sort of reverence for the storyteller in American (at least in my estimation).

I will admit I was bored with the first chapter. My two questions with the first chapter were: first, do we really learn all that differently from the past? Is there such a neat division between the previous generation and this current generation? I agree storytelling is undervalued, but I’m not sure it’s because we started learning differently. It would be interesting to see if there’s studies to back the claim up. Also, I’m not sure there’s such a sharp distinction between how men and women learn. I know some women who learn better with hard facts and some men that do or some that prefer stories and visa versa. These were minor parts of the book. Once he got into the techniques, games, and tips the book took off.

Review by Mathew Sims, Net Galley 12/5/13

Written by a person who started out as a stutterer, John Walsh is a Christian who has the Christian audience in mind, but his book can be valuable to anyone who stands in front of audiences of 5 people or 1,000 people. Learn it well, then teach it well.  If you’ve been looking for a book like this, and you’d love to work with the exercises at the end of the sections, then you should look into getting this book. 

Review by Spencer Robinson, Net Galley 12/27/13

John Walsh does a great job of taking you through the steps and art of story telling. He does so in a way that is interesting and engaging. This book is an excellent resource for anyone wanting to be a better, interesting and more engaging speaker and story teller. 4 out of 5 star rating.

Review by Darian Burns, Net Galley 1/17/14

Story telling is imperative when speaking to an audience. It is a great tool for keeping an audience engaged, and for helping a speaker to be relational and real with the audience--even Jesus did it to help explain things! However, it doesn't come naturally to everyone. This book takes the guesswork out of it and lays out the groundwork in an easy to understand way, explaining how to tell a story, and why it's so important. 5 out of 5 stars.

Review by Crystal Brothers, Net Galley 1/19/14

If this book were food, it would be a melt in your mouth roast beef dinner with mashed potatoes and gravy, buttered beans, hot rolls dripping with butter and best of all, a thick slice of warm apple pie with homemade vanilla ice cream.

It not only encourages and teaches a person to tell stories, but it provides the tools and ideas necessary to equip them. Best of all (the apple pie and ice cream), it tells us how to tell Bible Stories and why they are so effective. I both savored and devoured this book. I hope you will enjoy it too! Rating 5 out of 5 stars.

Review by Jael Roy, Net Galley 1/20/14

Are you a story-teller? I know, that is a very open question but guess what? If you are breathing, you are telling stories. Some people might not think they are story tellers but they are. If you have ever told a story to more than yourself, you’re a story-teller. When I think of story tellers I don’t typically think of myself. I think of men like Max Lucado. I once heard him teach and I could have listened for hours. Time flew by so fast and when he was done I thought it could have gone longer. I consider Max Lucado a master story-teller. In John Walsh’s book, "The Art of Story Telling," he walks you through step-by-step how to captivate your audience, whether it’s a classroom, a church, or a group of friends.

I recently recommended this book to a friend of mine that is a Bible teacher for a large women’s Bible study and she looked at me like I was an idiot but once I read off some of the high points from my notes (yes, I take notes when I read), she agreed it might be w

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  1. Gail
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Quality not quantity of words
    June 4, 2015
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    The ability to tell a story and communicate to an audience is not as simple as one might think. It takes practice but also an intentionality and commitment to hone one's storytelling skills. I enjoyed the practicality of John's book. It was written in an easy to understand manner. The chapters are not overly long and each one provides you with exercises to practice what he has written about. I walked away from the book encouraged that I can learn to communicate better. We use the spoken word not just in telling stories but in the work place, our homes, with friends - the ability to craft those words in a way that maximizes effectiveness is important. This book will help you do that!

    - received a copy of this from the publishers in exchange for my honest opinion of the book -
  2. Mazzou
    St. Louis, MO
    Age: 18-24
    Gender: female
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    Good for storytellers and anybody who talks!
    March 24, 2014
    St. Louis, MO
    Age: 18-24
    Gender: female
    Quality: 4
    Value: 3
    Meets Expectations: 2
    What an interesting book!

    Helpful for people eager to perfect their storytelling skills, beneficial for public speakers, and missionaries.

    And even useful for just a regular person like me and you.

    Because we all tell stories.

    Every day!

    You may not think of them as such, but every incident you choose to relate to someone else is a story you have found fascinating. And you are a storyteller. It is in your power to make your stories spell-bounding and meaningful or flat and boring. I love talking with family and friends, describing to them my thoughts and discoveries. I can't wait to put the lessons presented in this 14-chapter book into practice. I am sure my personal audience will much appreciate what I have learnt!

    This work by John Walsh was very easy to read; perhaps because of the unusual content, maybe because the author has an engaging style of writing. This book was not simply a textbook or ''how-to'' manual.

    Walsh's personal story is inspiring: growing up wit a major stutter, he nevertheless felt called by God to the ministry of public speaking. It is interesting to see how God helped him overcome, for the most part, his weakness.
  3. Floyd Johnson
    Upstate NY
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: male
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Wished I Had Used It In School
    February 3, 2014
    Floyd Johnson
    Upstate NY
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: male
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    I have found that the reprints of books that I missed the first time can be a real eye-opener. Such is the case of this book, originally published in 2003 and republished in 2014. I was introduced to "speech" writing during my senior year of high school. Three years later, my college degree also required a course in speech. I actually took two - one on the theory of communication and the second a more traditional speech course. We were required to present our in class speeches without notes - an exercise I hated at the time. My opinion changed the next summer when I was asked to tell a bit of my life story to a group of 100 peers - except when I got to the front of the group, I had forgotten my notes. I have always wished I had gone back and told my speech teacher "Thank You." I did not - perhaps this review can serve as a virtual "Thank You" to that experience.

    My education in speech writing was no over - homiletics (sermon preparation) was a requirement as part of my seminary education. With four courses under my belt, I figured my education was over. At least until I stumbled upon John Walsh's book The Art of Storytelling. None of my education had taught me to prepare a story for presentation. John Walsh had now done that.

    In more recent years the use of the "Narrative Sermon" has made the art of storytelling an increasingly important skill for the person serving in the pulpit.

    The Art of Storytelling is as much book about storytelling as it is a textbook - including step by step by step instructions and practical exercises throughout for the student, whether in the classroom or as an independent learner, to experience each of the 13/14 steps outlined in the book.

    The steps are divided into three parts:

    Steps to Crafting A Captivating Story

    Tools for Presenting A Captivating Story

    Bible Telling

    Each steps includes three kinds of instruction. They begin with the principles - some with more details than others, but specific guidance is provided in carrying out each step. This is followed by an example illustrating how the author has applied the principles of the step - including the occasional misstep that he found in preparing the story for presentation. The author follows the preparation of a single story throughout the book. Finally, a number of practical exercises complete each chapter, as mentioned earlier - practical exercises that can be used by the teacher in a formal classroom or by the independent learner of the experience storytelling.

    I would like to see this book be adopted as a required ancillary text in the seminary homiletics classroom - where each student must prepare at least one narrative sermon. I would require the book as part of the education of every student in a speech course as well. Storytelling is not just a formal activity for the professional speaker, but a skill that would be of use to every parent, grandparent, aunt, and uncle.

    As the reader might perceive, I enjoyed my walk through this book. The author's own testimony demonstrates its usefulness in the formal classroom; my own experience testifies to its usefulness for the independent learner. Each of us can become a better storyteller - allow John Walsh to guide you on that experience.


    This review is based on a free electronic copy provided by the publisher for the purpose of creating this review. The opinions expressed are mine alone.
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