My Oh So Very Imaginary TED Talk: Becoming A Storylistener

This one’s gonna require you to stretch your imagination a bit (and pop a Dramamine) as we take a dizzying sidestep into an alternate reality in which my indisputable awesomeness has been recognized and I have been asked to do a Ted Talk.


Did you know that a secret ingredient to becoming a master storyteller is right here, right now? You’re all using it! That’s right, I’m talking about your ears. Welcome to my TED Talk on “Becoming A Storylistener”, where we’re about to embark on a journey of listening our way to storytelling greatness.

As the famous poet Maya Angelou once said, “There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” Stories are everywhere, in books, movies, and even in the simple anecdotes we share with friends. But how do we become skilled storytellers ourselves? The answer is surprisingly simple: become a storylistener first.

Every day, stories are swirling around us like leaves in a gust of wind. We absorb them through conversations, TV shows, and various media. But to truly harness their power, we need to actively listen and learn from them. By doing so, we gain insights on crafting compelling narratives, building tension, and keeping our audience captivated.

Listening to stories not only helps us refine our storytelling skills but also fosters empathy. As we immerse ourselves in someone else’s tale, we begin to see the world through their eyes, sharing their emotions and experiences. This newfound understanding helps us create stories that resonate with our listeners on a deeper level.

So, how do we become proficient storylisteners? It starts with being present. While someone narrates their story, resist the urge to plan your next witty remark or judge their actions. Instead, focus on their words, emotions, and imagery. As Atticus Finch said in Harper Lee’s “To Kill a Mockingbird,” “You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view…until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.”

Another crucial aspect of story listening is asking questions. This shows genuine interest and allows us to delve deeper into the story. Questions clarify confusion, reveal key elements, and give us ideas for our own storytelling adventures.

Lastly, embrace an open mind. Not every story will resonate with us, and that’s okay. Even when we don’t agree, there’s always something to learn, be it a different perspective, an unfamiliar experience, or a previously unconsidered aspect of human nature. These insights help us create stories that speak to diverse audiences.

To sum it up, the path to becoming a master storyteller begins with attentive story listening. By honing our listening skills, we can develop our storytelling prowess, cultivate empathy, and create content that strikes a chord with our listeners. I challenge each of you to actively listen to someone’s story today, and see how it transforms your storytelling abilities.

Thank you for being storylisteners today, and may you continue to grow as both storytellers and listeners!

6 responses to “My Oh So Very Imaginary TED Talk: Becoming A Storylistener

  1. Everything you’ve written makes sense, but I agree with the last bit in particular. Keeping an open mind. It’s easy to write off stories we don’t like, but there’s no denying that we can learn a thing or two from them. It’s not easy to be always objective enough to practice it, but it’s a good thing to keep in mind.

    Liked by 1 person

    • There’s a quote I remember (I’m paraphrasing here because it was long ago and my memory ain’t what it used to be) “An open mind is the best approach to any story, especially to ones that don’t agree with us.” Cheers for the read and comment!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Listening to a good story is like savoring rich cuisine. It should be slowly taken in, enjoyed, experienced, and leave a moment that you can sometimes briefly go back to. I’m so glad this message is being shared. We need to be open to different perspectives and embracing empathy is really important. Love it ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I agree with everything you’ve mentioned, Rhyan. The first step to expressing or communicating is listening. There’s no way around it. And one needs to shut their mouth and really listen with an open mind. Congratulations on this awesome Rhyan Talk! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ralph G. Nichols once said, “The most basic of all human needs is the need to understand and be understood. The best way to understand people is to listen to them.” and despite who we are, what part of the world we hail from, and even our demeanor, don’t we all simply want to be understood? Cheers, Terveen, for once again gracing my humble blog with your presence!

      Liked by 1 person

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