You are not a disconnected set of individuals
…working day in day out
on the same old same old
…like a PowerPoint presentation
caught in a temporal causality loop.
You are a dynamic community
rich in stories
that are just waiting to be told.
Whether you are presenting at a conference
writing a blog
talking to the press
giving a lecture
or engaging with the public
one thing is for sure:
To make an impact, you need to share stories that matter!!!
You know the world needs to hear what you have to say
You’ve done the innovating and the research…
You’ve acquired the knowledge and experience…
You’ve sweated (at least metaphorically) to get the answers.
But there’s one little problem…
You aren’t connecting with the people who need to hear what you have to say.
PowerPoint presentations, statistics and sound bites don’t connect people to people…
Stories connect people to people!
A Storycrafting Workshop isn’t just a workshop.
It’s a time for you to gather and share stories about
who you are
what inspires you to do the work you do
and why that work matters in the world.
A Storycrafting Workshop will Enable You To…
Connect with the stories that matter to you
Connect with the stories that matter to you, re-invigorating the passion you have for what you do.
Craft stories that matter to your audience
Craft stories about your experience that will capture people’s attention and imagination.
Transform knowledge into impactful narrative
Transform what you know into stories that stimulate reflection and discussion, impacting on your audience.
Engage with people dynamically
Learn tips and tricks of the traditional storytelling trade, such as voice work, the use of gesture, facial expression and eye contact.
Connect with people in meaningful ways
Using stories and storytelling skills will connect you with people “eye to eye, mind to mind, and heart to heart.”*
Widen the reach of your work
Using stories will enable you to engage audiences you’ve never dreamed of reaching before.
Impact on the world in ways that matter
Storytelling connects people to each other and connects people to what’s being shared. You’ve got something to say that people need to hear. Tell it to them in stories.
Because everyone needs more fun!
*A Scottish Traveller proverb.
What Clients are Saying…
Working with Alette was a pleasure. The sessions were structured and comprehensive whilst being generative and comfortable. Everyone who participated found them incredibly useful in their storytelling process. I loved the brainstorming and free writing exercise, it really empowered and facilitated the creation of my story and the tools that supported the speaking aspect were very helpful. I would happily collaborate with Alette again!
Lily Asch, Artistic Director of RealTalk
Many thanks for your inspiring session last week; it was a genuine highlight of the two days and made us all think in a different way, and helped me reconnect with my playfulness – thank you!
Cathy Southworth, Eurostemcell
Alette delivered a two day storytelling with a group of students for us at the University in February this year. The run up to the workshop was challenging, with participants dropping out, which meant that Alette had to react very quickly to a smaller group than we intended. With Alette’s training and support our four student storytellers were able to deliver the story of Anne Frank’s Diary to groups of primary school children. Alette’s ability to engage the students in what could have been a very difficult subject matter, and her background as a children’s author resulted in a highly stimulating and inspiring couple of days. As a result, I have asked Alette to deliver another workshop and would not hesitate to recommend her.
Dawn Smith, Student Experience Project Coordinator, University of Edinburgh
Alette held an inspiring and engaging creative writing workshop for Retrospect Journal. Arranging the workshop with Alette couldn’t have been easier. We had a quick chat about who would be attending, and the aims and outcomes of the workshop, Alette worked her magic – and we were ready to go! Lively, attentive and extremely interesting, I would wholeheartedly recommend Alette – so much so, that she is kindly holding another writing workshop for Retrospect in the coming weeks.
Hilary Bell, Fiction Editor for Retrospect Journal
Your Tailor-Made Workshop
We’re all storytellers. As human-beings it’s our birthright and our genius. This tailor-made, hands-on workshop will put you back in touch with your inner storytelling genius.
We’ll start with some warm-up exercises, which will get your creative juices flowing and allow you to put words down on paper. These exercises are designed to bypass your inner critic, the part of you that wants to censor everything before it’s even given form, and to restore you to a relationship of play with creative writing. These exercises also stimulate reflection, putting you in touch with what you want to communicate and why.
We will then look at the basics of story-structure, going over plot, setting, character and theme in some detail. During longer workshops, we will look at specific story-structures, discussing genre and application. Story structures are tools, not rules. It is to understand the expectations around story that we all hold, so that you can make use of them. But if anyone tries to tell you that they have a magic story-structure that works every time, don’t listen to them. There is no magic formula, only creative human process.
The third element of good storytelling is the telling itself. I will teach you some simple voice exercises you can practice in the shower, elevator, or anywhere else you fancy expressing yourself loudly. We’ll also go over facial expression and gesture in relation to communicating on an embodied level.
You are encouraged to bring your own project, topic, findings or communication goals. There will be plenty of opportunities to work with your own material, to share with colleagues and to get feedback from myself and the group. By the end of a short workshop, you will have an outline of a story to tell. By the end of longer workshop, you will have a story prepared for telling.
Tailor-made handouts are supplied covering the content of the workshop and providing detailed instructions on how to do the exercises, so that participants can use them over and over again.
What Participants Are Saying
Alette, many thanks for the handout and for the wonderful learning and telling stories experience today. Will definitely try again and again. If anything, I have learned a great inward-outward back-to-back communication ‘technique’.
Harla Octarra, Postgraduate Student, Edinburgh Beltane Public Engagement Network Workshop
A great project from which I’ve benefitted enormously; I’m sure others could too.
Participant, Real Talk
As I am not very creative, I was doubtful about how good the storytelling session would be but I really enjoyed it and felt like it was open to everybody; even those who were not hugely creative.
Undergraduate Student, Third Space Participant
I found the storytelling workshop that focused on photography to be a valuable experience. I think that the workshop is designed and caters to different people with diverse interests. It can be seen as a meaningful learning tool by students, a resource by educators, and an opportunity for personal reflection by counseling practitioners.
Priya Mani, Lecturer in Counselling, Participant in Gather Workshop
During the workshop we worked alone to storyboard our own ideas, and then were given the opportunity to receive feedback from others. Alette was always approachable and on hand for advice.
One of the best things about the workshop was that at no time did I feel frustrated or anxious about writing or my ideas. The way in which Alette facilitated the workshop meant that everything seemed to flow naturally – and by the end, I (unbelievably) had a whole novel planned out.
Hilary Bell, Retrospect Workshop
Three Steps to Story Genius
putting together your storycrafting workshop
1 Planning Meeting
Every group is unique, so every workshop is tailor-made. We’ll meet by phone or in person so I can find out more about you, your community and your goals.
2. Honing the Plan
I will supply you with a detailed outline of the workshop. With feedback from you, I will hone it until the workshop fits the needs and aspirations of your group.
3. Workshop Delivery
I will deliver the workshop to your group, providing hands-on exercises, a story-structure overview, telling tips and practices to keep you in touch with the stories that matter.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are you available on short notice?
I sometimes have free slots in my diary. Send me a note and we’ll see what we can do
Do you guarantee that all participants will have a story by the end of the workshop?
The focus of the workshop is on helping you tell your stories. Your participants will be given loads of hands-on activities that draw on their own material and are designed to get their creative juices flowing. I have been running these workshops for five years and I’ve never sent anyone home without at least the seed of a story idea. And after as few as two half-day workshops, some participants have gone on to perform their stories live before theatre audiences.
Where are you based and where do you offer workshops?
I am based in Edinburgh, but I am available to travel to facilitate workshops. Transportation costs are in addition to workshop costs.
Do you offer discounts on your workshop fees?
Is your workshop suitable for someone who has never composed a story before?
I’m filing this question under “fiction”. We’re all storytellers, it’s our birthright as humans. This workshop will help everyone from novice to experienced writer become more conscious and more skilled in their storytelling. It provides tools to help you craft the stories you have to share and tips to hone your telling abilities.
How long is a workshop?
I’ll work with you to plan the best workshop for your needs. One full-day workshop or two half-day workshops are what I usually recommend, as most participants can craft a story in that time. However, I’ve taught workshops in as little as an hour and as long as two full days. Shorter workshops work best as taster sessions, for groups dipping their toes into storied waters, or for groups that have a specific focus they wish to work on. To fully develop a presentation or performance, ideally you need three half-day workshops or two full-day ones.
Where can I see your own story work?
I regularly tell stories at the Edinburgh zoo. See my environmental storytelling website for dates for those and other appearances: www.restoryingtheearth.com
What if I cancel the event, do I still have to pay you?
The planning meeting for your event is complementary. If by the end of it, you decide not to go ahead with the workshop, don’t sweat it. However, I require a deposit of 35% of the fee by no later two weeks after that meeting or a week before the event (whichever comes first). Once I’ve received the deposit, I’ll reserve the date for your event and get to work on the outline, which I’ll send to you for your approval. The rest of the fee is due after the event. However, I would appreciate as much notice as possible if you do decide to cancel, so that I can try and fill that slot.
Contact me for a free phone consultation
to find out what a storycrafting workshop could do for you and your community