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Developing your own thoughts and feelings about what has value for you, the storyteller and poet, can help you connect with your audience.   But, in order to connect, you do have to know your own heart.


Memoir-writer Annette Simmons, in her book, WHOEVER TELLS THE BEST STORY WINS:  How To Use Your Own Stories To Communicate With Power and Impact, tells us, “Unless you bring a beating heart to your message, it is dead.  But, when you tell your own heartfelt stories about what is meaningful in your life and work, you get the hang of finding stories that frame life and work in emotionally meaningful ways for your audience.”  It is the heartfulness you bring to a work that opens up the hearts of those around you.

The questions you need to ask yourself are these:

  • What moves you?
  • What makes you cry rivers of tears?
  • What makes you angry enough to go postal?
  • What triggers a belly laugh?
  • What yearning makes you reach for the moon?

Connect your listeners or readers to those things, and they will walk away satisfied.  You will get the chance to turn on a lightbulb or start another dance.  You may even blow their minds.

Fail to do it, and you will bore them into apathy and indifference.  They will yawn and slouch away.


Nobody is bored by a glimpse into somebody else’s world.  Nobody will be indifferent when they feel the connection  that comes when similarities or differences are revealed.  They may be surprised or dismayed or entranced by it all, but they will not be bored, if you can pull out your valued treasures and do a show-and- tell.

Robin Manuell’s You-Tube video about Hypnotic Storytelling points you in the right direction:

Awww, come on.  How hard can it be?  They teach this stuff to preschoolers!

Here’s another poem:


I have to believe that

There is meaning and mana

To be found in my walk

Through this World of Dust.

Otherwise, it seems to me,

It would be a better plan to

Just pick up my marbles

And go on home.


I mean,

What’s the point?


If I’m just going to sit there

And not join in the fun

Turning myself into some

Shiny, boring lump of bright stuff

That doesn’t DO anything except

Soak in celestial juices…


I mean…wow!

Where’s the music?

Where’s the stories?

Where’s the dance?


Wise guys say this world’s all

Illusion and mirrors made

Of smoke and tears. 

They say you have to give it up,

Give it over, just let it all go.

And maybe they’re right.

Who am I to say they are not?

But, there is something in me that rebels.

Something that says, “No…Not!”

Something keeps telling me

Their wisdom falls short somehow.


What if I don’t WANT to be a space-cadet,

Ignoring the dusty world,

All focused on the godhead inside me?

What if MY godhead wants to

Dance out joy and fiercest passion?

What if MY godhead wants to

Laugh uproariously

Act outrageously

Laugh insanely,

And fly to the farthest reaches of starlight

And back again?


How does sitting there get me to that?

By Netta Kanoho

Picture credit:  “Show and Tell” by Erin M McCuskey via Flickr [CC BY-NC-ND 2.0]

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