Craig Valentine’s first breakout – Storytelling – Updated


Editor’s note: this post was originally posted on 27 Feb, then edited later. It is mostly a compilation of my notes from the session, with some additional thoughts as well.

Craig opened with a challenge to find stories in everything we do, and by the end of this session to think of a story from this event we could use in the future.

In this session, craig provided a 5-piece formula for storytelling.
Start with the Character – Give a hint (i.e. looks like a young Don Johnson) and let the audience fill in the blanks – people buy into what they help create.
Next – Conflict – After you introduce them, throw them into the fire…and escalate the conflict.
Now, you need a Cure – this should be a revelation or recipe that the audience can use. Note: This should come from a guru, and the guru should not be you. (Craig’s wife said, “Your dream is not for sale”)
Describe the Change that occured after the cure.
Finally, the Carryout message. That is your foundational phrase.

With one of the handouts, he provided his overall structure for storytelling. – Hint: There are 9c’s overall, because of time he only went over the five I listed above.

He also talked about using a skeletal story structure, where you start by creating just one sentence for each of those five Cs, Character, Conflict, Cure, Change, and Carryout. If you can create those bones, then you can flesh out the stories that make your foundational phrase stick.

Chris Elliott was the first coachee.
My Notes:
Use of room…moved to the right
References to champs

I asked about his audience, who he said was usually Toastmasters. In his speech, he referenced Patricia Fripp and the Champs like we knew who they were. I mentioned that most audiences (even Toastmasters) may not know them, so he may need to describe them in more detail to his audiences.

Craig’s Notes:
Reactions tell the story – before and after the line
Every character needs to have their own voice and pace. Be subtle but different.
“So I thought to myself” – who else are you going to think to?
Don’t travel too far between your characters
Take opportunities to hold the moment “and now the winner is…(small pause)…” then the name
Message – “I had become them instead of becoming me”

Heather (from my district) was next
Her speech segment was from her speech, “no one ever dies”
After she spoke, Craig gave her some great advice on turning narration into dialog. It clicked for me that no matter how much dialog we think we use, there is always narration that we think is appropriate that can become dialog.
Another piece of advice was in delivering that dialog. Like with Chris’ speech, remember your height in relation to your other characters (in the story). Look up, look down, make subtle moves.

Craig did an amazing job (shock!) with the storytelling session. Even though I knew some of his content, seeing his latest material and watching live coaching was invaluable (and fun).

Check for more on Craig’s storytelling course.

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