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Perform: No Sh*t, There I Was

Perform: No Sh*t, There I Was

Last week, I wrote about the stories we tell ourselves. This week I want to discuss how we craft and perform stories for impact. Last night, I had the privilege of judging a storytelling showcase hosted in Boston by Zephyr Communications.

Two dynamic stories, based in childhood experience, were told to fine effect. The first was comedic, well-balanced, and well-conceived. The obstacle for this story was the performance itself. After a couple of tiny adjustments, the speaker reopened the story with a resonant and focused voice. That alone changed his impact. If he adds more performance practice to this new voice, this story will be a great opener to share.

The second story had a specific moral it was trying to teach, that loyalty always matters. The problem is that loyalty both as a word and a concept means different things to different people. If you wonder about that, imagine the connotations of being called “disloyal” and what that implies about the meaning of loyalty for you. In any event, while the topic and perhaps the lesson was loyalty, this story was about family. About love. Why were we able to get to this point in a public masterclass? Because the speaker’s voice and breath were already lined up.

We all have stories to tell. Some of us do so with regularity while others find the thought daunting. The fact is that we are all characters in a story that is playing out on different levels. Our ability to excise parts of that story or even parts of other people’s stories and share them, if one of the ways to build connections with other humans. Knowing what words to choose, how to craft and balance those tales, is incredibly important. Still, at the end of the day we need a voice that can convey it.


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Gina Razón is the principal voice specialist at GROW Voice LLC, a full-service voice and speech studio in Boston’s Back Bay.  She has over 16 years of experience both as a teacher of voice and speech, and a voraciously curious voice user.  Gina has worked professionally as a classical singer for over a decade and more recently as a professional public speaker.  For more information on the studio or to book Gina visit www.growvoice.com.

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