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Understanding How Stories Work

A Taster Day for Facilitators and Trainers, led by Chris Smith

£120 including lunch

Why Story?

Whatever a group’s purpose, story-skills can provide a great set of techniques to engage, energise and creatively explore themes, issues and processes with which the group is concerned. Whether in the realm of fact, fiction or fantasy, story-skills allow a group to explore story-sharing, inventing and learning from the stories themselves.

What will the workshop entail?

In this workshop we will explore the single story idea – the plot matrix - as an integrative tool for working with story in groups. Using the matrix we will investigate how to:

-       Create playful icebreakers / story making games

-       Build confidence and skill in the telling of stories

-       Listen constructively to the stories of others and give feedback

-       Create, develop and explore one’s own spontaneous stories

-       Evoke stories relevant to a given theme/ group/ situation

-       Investigate how stories provide new insights and learnings

The workshop will be experiential, playful and reflective and is suitable for those working with groups as trainers or facilitators.

More on Chris Smith

Chris Smith is a storyteller who trained in story performance with Ben Haggarty, in Story for Education and Therapy with Alida Gersie and learned his education approach through work with Pie Corbett. He works regularly as a facilitator and trainer. He is currently co founder and director of Storytelling Schools Ltd, which promotes an innovative educational methodology around the country and beyond – New Zealand and Palestine to name a few.


An example of a story we might work with is:

There was once a man who wanted to be the best at something and he chose archery. He practised and practised until he could hit the bull's eye every time. Soon he was champion of his village, then champion of his county and in time became champion of the country. One day, after a competition, a young man approached the archery champion. “You're very good,” said the man, “but I know someone even better. He's a farmer and his name is Nasseradin. Would you like to meet him?” The man led the archer to the farm and Nasseradin's courtyard. There, the archer saw a high, wooden wall with over a hundred targets painted onto it. At the very epicentre of every bull's eye was an arrow and the archer was impressed. When Nasseradin came out to greet him, the archer said “Tell me, I've practiced my whole life to be as good as I can. I can hit the bull's eye every time, but you not only hit the bull's eye, you hit it right in the very, very centre, a perfect shot each time.” Nasseradin smiled. “Well, you do things your way,” he said, “and I do things mine. You see, first I fire the arrow, then I paint the target around it!

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