Storytelling is the most powerful way to put ideas into the world. -Robert McKee

On Tuesday, November we took a detour from our normal Toastmasters meetings and conducted a Storytelling Workshop.

Our aim was to allow everyone to create an opportunity for our members and guests to learn about storytelling from an expert public speaker and apply their teachings via interactive exercises. Very often, we attend Toastmasters meetings and see skilled speakers deliver their speech with gravitas and pazazz. And while it is great to watch and learn, we don’t really get to grow as speakers unless we implement and experiment with what we have learned.

Our special guest was Ernie Boxall, who I met a few years ago at Spa Speakers, a Toastmasters Club in Leamington Spa in Warwickshire, UK. Ernie is a professional public speaker and runs storytelling and public speaking workshops. His passion and expertise in the domain of storytelling and public speaking was evident to me from the start, which made him the ideal guest speaker for our event.

Ernie started his presentation dressed as Santa and won over the crowd immediately. Over the course of his 30-minute speech, he laid out some of the most salient points that one should consider while crafting and delivering a story. These include:

  • The 4 Ps of perfect presentation
  • The 3 questions one should consider while judging a presentation/speech/story
  • Personal vs Business stories and where to start.
  • Why the world needs to listen to your authentic Story.

The entire presentation delivered by Ernie is available here for a limited period of time:

After the presentation, we split into groups of two in breakout sessions and practised the storytelling craft using the tips we had just received. The table topics session was conducted by Arun, who masterfully threaded multiple events in his life together and invited our members and guests to share similar stories of their lives. The table topics were evaluated by Ernie, who gleefully explained how the speakers could further enhance their presentation and storytelling skills. Our quizmaster, Dima tested how attentive we had been throughout the meeting by asking us questions about memorable events throughout the meeting; which ended beautifully with Ernie playing his Native American Flute and adding to the beauty of the evening.

A special thanks to our club President- Nils, the Timekeeper- Monika, the Table Topics Master-Arun, the quizmaster-Dima and the Zoom master Atul for adding their touch of authenticity and liveliness to the meeting.
Let me end with this quote: Life is like a book. Some chapters sad, some happy and some exciting. But if you never turn the page, you will never know what the next chapter holds. So don’t wait.
Turn that page over and tell your story. Today!