Halloween Storytelling: Presenting the Fireside Roots of Public Speaking


by Peter Watts

Through story-telling we express history, we express culture, and we construct the metaphors by which we understand our world. Two festivals lend themselves to the art: Halloween and Christmas. Both should involve spine-tingling tales to bring tribe and family tight together around the fire. It’s public speaking in the raw, and this week I’ve been reminded of this in two ways that I would like to share:

First, my fellow blogger and presenter, John Zimmer (@zimmerjohn) posted this wonderful article via his twitter-feed: “The Psychology of Storytelling” “The Psychology of Storytelling”

Second, I encountered “Beyond the Pale”, a project to consolidate and redistribute the great radio horror stories of the 1940′s and 50′s. You can hear all about “Beyond The Pale” with WBUR’s Tom Ashbrook by following this link. The show is about an hour long, but does include generous clips from Halloween horrors past; Seasonal listening should you find yourself at an audio loose-end while carving the pumpkin.

The tradition of the spoken word and storytelling returns us to public speaking in it’s most native form. What more pleasurable way to practice our skills than by deploying a well chosen tale to raise a scream, this Halloween.

Trick or treat!

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