The Art of Storytelling: From Parents to Professionals : The Great Courses: Professional

  • by The Great Courses
  • Narrated by Professor Hannah B. Harvey
  • Series: The Great Courses: Professional
  • 12 hrs and 29 mins
  • Lecture

Publisher's Summary

An absolute treat for the heart and mind, these 24 lectures demonstrate how to master the art of storytelling, offering insight into the process of crafting and delivering a tale to enhancing the stories you tell everyday - to your children at bedtime, in your conversational anecdotes, and in your presentations at work. Teachers, lawyers, clergy, coaches, parents, and anyone who wants to understand the power of stories to capture hearts and minds will benefit from these lessons.
You'll discover practical methods for building dynamic tension and capturing - then maintaining - your audience's attention. You'll acquire tips and techniques for finding, selecting, and preparing stories, whether they're based on your own experiences, time-honored folk tales, or beloved family yarns. You'll also learn to choose expressive language, craft compelling characters, refine your narrator's point of view, shape your story's plot, structure, and emotional arc, use body language to connect with your audience, and more.
Part how-to workshop, part intellectual study of the history of narrative, these lectures feature exercises that literally get you moving to develop your stories and make them more enjoyable. Professor Harvey's interactive activities and "side coaching" sessions are designed to make you comfortable enough with your story to tell it naturally and make impromptu changes as needed. You'll even learn what to do if the unexpected occurs while telling a story to a roomful of kids or giving a presentation, and about the practical considerations of using props, PowerPoint, and microphones in various scenarios.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Too many stories, not enough lecture

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

As an instructional presentation on storytelling, there could be more focus on the elements of stories and storytelling and fewer actual stories. The number and length of the stories told by the lecturer, especially early in the series makes them seem gratuitous. I also don't find those stories to be particularly engaging or insightful. While she does use some good examples from other storytellers, I think the format of this lecture would be improved if even more, if not all examples were from other storytellers. Then it would seem more like an analytical lecture and less like a performance showcase for the professor.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

Fairly often, phrases delivered by the lecturer are punctuated by an almost-snort, kind of a self-deprecating half-laugh which I'm sure is very endearing in person, but highly distracting in an audio-only format.

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- Lance

Superb, insightful but limited by audio only

'The Art of Storytelling' by Prof. Hannah B. Harvey is probably one of the best courses in 'The Great Courses' series. Not only does it deals with something no human being can get away from - the telling of stories - Harvey's presentation is absolutely exquisite, she has a way to draw you in.

So why don't I give it five stars throughout. Because you loose out tremendously by buying the audio only version. While listening to Prof. Harvey gives you the basics, there are so much more that is just not accessible when listening to the audio version of the course. I would have loved to not only hear, but also to see the storytellers, including herself perform by telling a story. You only hear the example 'stories' while it is used to help you with gestures, movement etc. She also gives valuable exercises on body posture and warming up your body and vocal chords before an performance. In the audio version you miss out on a lot of these.

That said, being a minister of religion that often preaches to various audiences, I was able to incorporate some of her ideas in one of my recent sermons. I was astounded with the reaction.

Prof. Harvey covers al the components of a good story, how to write or think up or identify a story as well as how to present or perform it. It is absolutely worthwhile and the self-help exercises (cross-training) she gives helps a lot.

Unfortunately you will want to have more. I found that the audio version of this lecture left me with a feeling of being cheated out of the most important part of storytelling - body language... maybe it is better to wait for a Great Courses 70% off sale, pay a little more (or a lot) and watch the video version. If you don't have that kind of money, the audio might just help you getting started.
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- Jacobus

Book Details

  • Release Date: 07-08-2013
  • Publisher: The Great Courses