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The Astonishing Power of Storytelling
- Grade Level: PreK-12
- ISBN: 9781506386393
- Published By: Corwin
- Year: 2018
- Page Count: 240
- Publication date: September 07, 2018
Visit this page to access a Study Companion for the book.
Master the secret to engaging any audience—from
Everyone loves a good story. More than entertainment, well-told stories captivate listeners and motivate action. In this guidebook, Robert J. Garmston shows you how to leverage the power of storytelling to engage and persuade students, colleagues, and all other audiences.
Written in Garmston’s warm and conversational style and featuring current cognitive neuroscience research, the book includes:
- Detailed breakdowns of the essential elements all great stories share, and templates for creating yours
- Tips for supercharging your stories by drawing from personal experience as well as familiar movies, TV shows, and popular media
- A guide to effective story delivery, including optimized vocal inflection and body language
Becoming a better storyteller will make you a more effective communicator and educator. Get started today with The Astonishing Power of Storytelling.
Table of Contents
About the Author and Illustrator
PART I: WHY STORIES WORK
1. Why Tell Stories
Leading Through Narrative
Watch A Story Being Told
How Storytelling Began
2. The Neuroscience of Narrative
Story Worth Watching
Stories Arouse Cooperative Instincts
$$$ The Million-Dollar Story
PART II: FIND, DESIGN, AND DELIVER YOUR STORY
3. Finding Personal Stories
Locating Personal Story Material
Stories About Your Organization
Finding Your Personal Stories
4. Other Story Sources
Six Story Sources
Films and Television
Stories Unique to a Particular Culture
Two Stories Worth Watching
5. Why Are Metaphors Important?
How Metaphors Are Processed
Right Hemisphere Engagement
Four Uses of Metaphor
Go Beyond Logic
Subtexts of Metaphor
6. Desirable Story Features
Have a Beginning, Middle, and End
Use Present Tense
Use Sensory Images
Use Memorable Closings
Seven Steps to Preparing a New Story
7. Delivering Your Story
Stand Like You Are Credible
Story Worth Watching
Use Questions to Invite the Audience In
PART III: CHANGING BEHAVIORS WITH STORY
8. Promote Change: Story Structure and Examples
Applying the Desired-State Map: Three Examples
1. Shouting at a Parent
2. Bear in the Cage
3. A Strong, Yet Delicate Rose
Presume Positive Intentions
9. Meet Groups Where They Are
What Listeners Experience
10. Design for the Intuitive Mind
Beyond Waking Awareness
Story Elements for Subliminal Processes
Artfully Vague Language
11. How Two Stories Changed Behaviors
General Components of a Well-Formed Story
Contains Submerged Moral or Point of View
Creates Internal Representations
Bypasses Protective Filters
Parallels the Audience’s Situation
Lingers on Point of Irresolution
Marks Embedded Commands
12. In Conclusion
Organizing the Stories
Seeking Desired States
Guide to Story Locations
Worksheet 1: Metaphor Subtexts
Worksheet 2: Anatomy of Desired-State Stories
Worksheet 3: Constructing a Desired-State Story
Poetry Referenced in the Preface
Storytelling Study Companion
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Stephanie Hirsh, Director of Learning Forward
From this point forward, this book will be one of those cherished friends I keep on my nightstand and pack during long travel journeys. I encourage every educator to give yourself the gift of The Astonishing Power of Storytelling – it will have a profound impact on your personal and professional journey.
Michael Fullan, Professor Emeritus, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education – University of Toronto
You will never find a more insightful book on the nature and power of storytelling as leadership. This book will stir your emotions, inform you, and inspire you to rethink how you lead. It will then guide you to become a better storyteller by helping you ‘shift perceptions, invite learning, inspire action, and seek a new desired state' in your local context. A unique and inspiring leadership book.
Ontario Institute for Studies in Education – University of Toronto
Ellie Drago-Severson, Professor of Education Leadership & Adult Learning and Leadership; Teachers College, Columbia University
Bob Garmston captures the science and the magic of stories as essential tools for leading, collaborating, communicating, and connecting, showing how and why leading through story is vital in our complex world. This book is a must read for education leaders of all kinds—principals, central office leaders, facilitators, and all who want to support the growth of others in powerful ways.
Teachers College, Columbia University
Jon Saphier, Founder and President, Research for Better Schools
This book has comprehensiveness, careful structure, and graceful writing. Garmston didn't just pick a topic and write a book. This wisdom piece has been a lifetime in the making. It is really quite something.
Research for Better Schools
Wenny Kusuma, United Nations; Women Country Representative; Kathmandu, Nepal
We hear stories every day. But we don’t necessarily tell—or retell—stories well. Every leader needs to reach people, their hearts and minds, and Garmston’s new book speaks to the power of storytelling for just this purpose. A surprising read, I now see stories differently, as sparks for human transformation.
United Nations; Kathmandu, Nepal
David Chojnacki, Executive Director Emeritus; Near East South Asia Council of Overseas Schools; Athens, Greece
In this book, Bob Garmston—a mesmerizing storyteller himself—brings an age-old tradition to life with useful guides for crafting good stories and using them in our work and daily lives.
Near East South Asia Council of Overseas Schools; Athens, Greece
William Sommers, Bricoleur, Leadership Coach, & Author; Austin, TX
It has been said if you want to change the culture, change the story. Bob Garmston has been a premier professional development trainer and practitioner for over thirty years. This book will provide background knowledge and great practical tips on the use of stories as a teaching strategy.
Leadership Coach, & Author; Austin, TX
James L. Roussin, Executive Director of Generative Learning; Strategic Change Consultant/Leadership Coach; Stillwater, MN
For eons, storytelling has linked one generation of humanity to another and Robert J. Garmston does us all a great favor by reminding us that story is the conduit of human experience. Those who lead, present, and consult will find this book an enduring friend for influencing and communicating to a variety of audiences, especially in one’s own voice.
Generative Learning; Stillwater, MN
David Hyerle, Author of Pathways to Thinking Schools (2014); Lyme, NH
With rare insights, Bob Garmston offers many pathways into the practice of storytelling, most powerfully by showing how metaphors are basic structures for making stories meaningful, heartfelt, and enlightening across diverse cultures.
Author of Pathways to Thinking Schools (2014); Lyme, NH
Sally Alturki, Co-founder of Dhahran Ahliyya Schools and the Educational Book House; Dhahran, Saudi Arabia
Guided by his rich life experience in helping educators embrace meaningful learning and development in schools, Bob Garmston has brought us another gem! He offers the why, what, and how for using this most effective means of inspiring change in individuals and organizations.
Dhahran Ahliyya Schools; Dhahran, Saudi Arabia
Joelle Basnight, High School Principal, American International School; Chennai, India
In The Astonishing Power of Storytelling Bob Garmston confirms with brain science and sound research what we all know intuitively – stories have the power to both persuade and inspire. What’s more, the book is chock-full of practical tips and approaches to plan and deliver stories with intention and aplomb. Bob has gifted all of us an excellent “how to” manual to make our stories sing!
American International School; Chennai, India
Kelly Armitage, Elementary School Principal, International School; Bangkok, Thailand
Inspiring...this book will add to your leadership capacity and help shape you into a storyteller to transform your skills as a professional.
International School; Bangkok, Thailand
Lucy Fisher, Manager Emeritus, Learning Education Department Educational; Consultant, Tasmania, Australia
Bob has taught me most of what I know about presenting and this book is a wonderful addition to my repertoire. The scaffolds and rich examples provide models for my own storytelling that I can now harvest from my life experiences. I am already crafting an introductory story for my next workshop.
Learning Education Department Educational; Tasmania, Australia
Karen Tribble, Elementary School Teacher, Fairfield, CT
Robert J. Garmston has touched upon who teachers naturally are. Storytellers. Throughout The Astonishing Power of Storytelling Garmston provides evidence that validates the power of telling stories, and offers tools to enhance the innate instincts of a teacher. This book will nurture abilities that some are not aware they possess. After all, what is teaching but a way to inspire students to search for knowledge? What better way to set the stage than to "Tell a Story”?
Gregory A. Hedger, Director, The International School; Yangon, Myanmar
One of the most important facets to effective change leadership is the ability to engage and create meaning. In Astonishing Power of Storytelling Garmston draws the connection between an engaging story and the ability to stimulate positive change.
The International School; Yangon, Myanmar
Jihad Dwaidar, Literacy Coach, International Programs School; Khobar, Saudi Arabia
Al-Hakawati in Arabic, is a person who narrates the old stories transferring values and traditions across generations and inspiring the listeners. In this sense Garmston’s Astonishing Power of Storytelling is a transcultural book; one can help you use storytelling in your profession with easy-to-follow-and-use tools and strategies.
International Programs School; Khobar, Saudi Arabia
David B. Cloud, Alaska Administrator Coaching Project; Homer, AK
Bob Garmston’s latest book, Astonishing Power of Storytelling is a welcome resource which strategizes the use of storytelling for leaders at all levels. The skills he offers through storytelling can help present sometimes bland information with personal and internalizing effectiveness. For leaders who seek to achieve lasting change, this book makes impressive sense!
Alaska Administrator Coaching Project; Homer, AK
Marcia Knoll, Professor, Educational Administration, Hunter College, NY
This book has helped me to understand and experience how storytelling is an essential element for anyone who presents, lectures, or conducts workshops. Astonishing Power of Storytelling encouraged me to use storytelling as a strategy to hold the students’ attention and better achieve my instructional goals of shifting their perceptions, while encouraging learning and action. As I prepared talking points on working with resistant teachers for my class on supervisory practice, stories from personal experience came to mind. While sharing a story with my students about a teacher I was working with, I demonstrated the body language (crossed arms and legs) he displayed during the post-observation conference. We then explored what was being said by this body language and strategies for how to respond effectively. The results were amazing. Not only were the students intrigued, the story also enabled me to engage them in meaningful discussion with productive results. This book will continue to be my guide as I prepare for future classes and presentations.
Hunter College, NY
Aixa Perez-Prado, Professor of Education, Florida International University; Miami, FL
Great storytelling feels almost magical. It creates natural connections between speakers and listeners that are personal, meaningful, and authentic. We all remember the stories that captivate us, inspire us, and open our minds to new ideas. Storytelling is at the heart of good teaching and this guidebook promises to teach all of us to become splendid storytellers. I can’t wait to share it with my teacher education students.
Florida International University; Miami, FL
Servet Altan, International Educator & Educational Researcher, Bilkent University; Ankara, Turkey
I remember gathering around my mom listening to her stories light up the room. Her stories had a big impact on who I am today. This book is a perfect guide to discover your own personal story and suggests ways for why and how you can use your story to make a memorable impact on others.
Bilkent University; Ankara, Turkey
Gary Whitely, Leadership Consultant; Kenai, Alaska
Bob Garmston provides astonishing examples of the power of storytelling. Through storytelling, he that wit and wisdom can be companions on the journey to gain knowledge and insight.