What's YOUR Story?

Posted on Feb 06, 2018 by Joey

The Power of Story!

One recent evening I sat in an audience of Nancy Pearl fans. I was reminded of something important: the power of story. I never fail to include good story telling whenever I'm creating magic, or performing.

(Whether I'm in a banquet room filled with business people for a corporate meeting, at a table in a no so fancy restaurant, or my own show at The Chameleon Theater, people love a story.)

About that evening with Nancy Pearl: Indeed, we were all people who know Nancy. Not personally, but through her radio appearances, her books, her work at the Seattle Public Library. She's also a nice person, and that helps, too! If you live in a city, or town, that does a "group read" of a book, Nancy started that in Seattle. It's done worldwide now.

As soon as Nancy took the stage, she held us captive. With just her stories we were on the edge of out seats. No reading of her recent book, no discussion of a favorite book. Just stories. Her stories were sometimes sad, sometimes profound, sometimes happy. But, just stories.
 
For someone like me Nancy is a great reminder that people are drawn to stories. Whenever I'm in a teaching capacity, kids, workshop for a company, I make a point to tell them to use the power of story as a vehicle for their success with the magic they have just learned.
 
In fact, stories about one own self, are often most compelling. In my magic book for Grandpa's I use the following example. Suppose you are about to do a coin trick. Here are two examples of possible presentation: show the quarter and say, "I'm going to place this quarter in my hand," or say, "Would you like to see something that I once learned from a pickpocket in New York City?"
 
You bet that question is going get people's attention, and get them thinking, 'when were you in New York City?' "What was that like' and 'you bet, let's see that, and NOW!'
 
People have been telling stories for thousands of years. No, tens of thousands of years. Probably longer. Don't believe the power of story, just look as the wildly successful TED Talks. It's called a talk for a reason.

Story. What's yours?