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Touching Nerves Workshop Feedback and Pic.

HI Rona, Thanks for a wonderful day of training. I have come out a bit wobbly but see this as a good thing as I see that I have got things to learn. Connecting with an audience is something I am passionate about so this hit all the buttons for me. It was great telling to a set of my peers and hearing your stories. I have attached a copy of the group shot. Please feel free to forward it on. I look forward to seeing you again in a couple of weeks time. With love and best wishes,
Andy x

Touching Nerves workshop Oct 2013

Touching Nerves workshop Oct 2013

The “TOUCHING NERVES” Workshop What Rona does Rona seeks to transform – the practised, or the novice or would-be storyteller who is not sure of what it’s all about, or who wants to learn more from a master of the craft – into someone who is prepared to strike out in new directions with confidence. She prepares you by taking you along a journey, a personal one, by making it personal, and relates from her life in the process, which helps relate your own experience to the job of the day in hand. The process is grounded in the concrete. She checks with us that we have brought the small jar that she requested. A handout gives you a choice of material, three different stories with which to pick one of, and use to take off on your first fledgling flight of the day. It takes away that anticipatory fear accompanying arrival ‘I don’t really have a story to tell.’ From this level playing field we take it in turns to step up and tell our chosen tale. Of course, by now Rona has broken the ice with us with a warm-up story and first instalment of her outlook – be positive – and there are some volunteers to go first… and second, and later we negotiate the running order amongst ourselves to avoid the same ones following directly on. There’s a good atmosphere, and we’re watching each other, making notes – private ones Rona has asked us – an exercise in being observant of posture, movement, voice, manner. This proves to be the very manna from heaven. This is grist for the mill which, after we’ve had our excellent meal (it could have been specially flown in from somewhere like Tuscany) we are directed to reflect on, and after digesting we have a second go. Some of the version2s are markedly different, some are not, echoing one of Rona’s themes, one which is about the variety of the individual. (I caught myself from using the word ‘performance’ just now because she also draws a distinction between ‘teller of stories’ and ‘storyteller’).  Is it for my benefit, or for that of others? ‘Is it a gift we’re giving?’ By the end of the day, after we have watched the repeats/revisions (such a great thing to be able to do) and making some comments, we have a break. There’s been an emphasis on the positive, and over the cups of tea we have a chance to speak to individuals about what we noticed about each other’s – I will use the word now – performance. I imagine it’s the kind of thing that the luxury of a course that’s spread over days would be able to explore in more detail. We settle back in our chairs, and Rona does a summing up of some of the craft of the storyteller. There’s an accompanying handout complementing the process we’ve been though over the last five hours., the shift from moving an audience from attention to engagement. And we round off doing the rounds of each one of us admitting, more or less readily, in the witness of everyone present, ‘I AM A STORYTELLER’. And after what could have been a scene reminiscent of a revivalist gathering, she gives an eminently practical instruction. ‘Have three stories always ready to give at any instant, your gift.’ After this has been said, I screwed the lid back onto the jar I’d brought (I’d left it open to catch the energy of the day) and said my (temporary) farewells to my colleagues who’d been on the day’s journey. It’s here now, in the kitchen where I’m writing this, where it sits next to the tea making things, quietly being positive.
Cos Harnazs on “ Touching Nerves” (20/10/2013)

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