I was reading the green book the other day, Fluency Through TPR Storytelling, and Blaine mentions a book that had a big impact on him. The book he mentioned was How to win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie. At first glance I wasn’t so sure about the title, but I decided to check it out.
I went to the library and took a look and realized why it is such a great book. Although it is a well known classic on dealing with people, there was so much more to it. I began to see how it affected Blaine and his storytelling. Not only does it offer a lot of good tips for dealing with people, but if applied to storytelling it has great potential.
Discovering the different pieces of TPRS has really allowed me to see how deceivingly complex it really is. On the surface it is really easy, but just like anything else, if you want to become great it requires a lot of dedication and development. For many teachers, it takes years to develop these skills.
One such skill is the idea of doing TPR really well. Without doing this, I never would have gotten a feeling for spinning new vocabulary in while reviewing old vocabulary. It is the framework of the feeling of circling, as well as adding details. Again, not something that is learned, but felt.
This book is full of ideas for good storytelling some of which are: not criticizing, genuinely making people feel important, being genuinely interested in people, realizing that people don’t care what you want — they care about what they want, the power of a real smile, just saying someone’s name is the sweetest sound to them, etc.
There are many more, but these are some starters. One idea that really caught my eye was the idea that people only care about what they want. This is so true in stories. The students don’t care about what the teacher likes, they only care about what they like. This needs to be juggled with the idea that “It’s my story”, but it is important for me to realize as a storyteller.
Anyway, a very good book to read! I plan to read it throughout my life.