Recently, I have become more interested in storytelling. As a youth pastor, there are many times where telling a story would be extremely beneficial getting a point across. Because of this, I have read a couple books on storytelling and when Moody emailed me with a chance to review this book, I jumped at the opportunity. I am extremely glad I did. John Walsh is a great storyteller to learn from and this book is a step by step guide in “presenting an unforgettable story”, as the title of the book states. John Walsh is highly qualified to write this book as he is a nationally known author, speaker and professional storyteller. He founded the Christian Storytelling Network and also serves as president of BibleTelling, “which is an organization dedicated to teaching people how to learn and tell Bible stories and use them in all phases of ministry” (taken from the back of the book in the author bio).
As I have reflected on the many different preachers I have listened to and had the opportunity to sit under, the ones I can remember the best are those who have used stories to help bring their points to life. One of my favorite speakers to listen to is Louie Giglio. I first heard him speak around 2002 or 2003 and ever since then, I try to listen to him regularly due to his ability to bring a passage to life through the Word of God itself, but also through personal and life stories that in many ways, give his messages a little extra punch. He never shares a story to make it the central part of his message, or to take away from the Word of God. He uses them to help transition as well as give life application to what he is preaching. This has challenged me in many ways to look for means to bring passages to life for my audience, to find ways to help students know how to apply passages I speak from to their lives. I never want an audience I speak to, to ever walk away wondering what they are to do with what they just heard. John Walsh with this book has given me yet more insight and wisdom in how to make this happen.
Think back through your life, you can probably remember many different times where you have heard a story presented that stuck with you even though it might actually have been years ago. However, sometimes, it is hard to even remember the pastor’s sermon or points from this past Sunday. This is yet one other reason I want to learn to utilize this tool when speaking. Stories help people remember. A well told story can capture our imaginations and make us feel like we are right there in the story because it touches on our senses.
If you find yourself giving presentations or teaching or even telling stories to audiences of any size and want to improve in your abilities, this book is a must read for you. If you are a pastor or ministry director, or even a missionary, wanting to find ways to help your congregation and audiences really take hold of what you are sharing, then pick up The Art of Storytelling. It will help bring your presentations to life. John Walsh writes in an easy to follow manner that will also help you craft your first story as you read along. When you finish the book, you will be excited and energized to put into practice what you have learned. So pick up this book and let it help you take your presentation and storytelling skills to a whole new level, one that will captivate your audience and help them remember what you presented.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Moody Publishers in exchange for this review.