The art and science of storytelling
Authored by: Monica  

Depending on how old you are, you will certainly be able to recollect your parents or grandparents telling you stories, reading you stories when you are trying to fall asleep or even simply stories being a part of every family gathering. Is not it interesting to note that storytelling has a history that goes back to several centuries? Almost every country and every civilization has had some form of storytelling. Of course, with the passage of time, storytelling has indeed gone from rock art as in paintings in caves to digital storytelling by way of blogs and even social media interaction.


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Fairy tales, folk stories, mythological anecdotes and even cartoons and comics – they are all part of the storytelling history of each nation. If you were to go back in time, storytelling took on a largely oral narrative form. Whether it was a storyteller reciting tales about heroes and legendary figures or even a parent telling his or her child about a fairy tale – it was largely a verbal dialogue.


























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In today’s times however, storytelling has evolved to encompass digital platforms, storybooks and novels of various kinds and even documentaries and cinema. After all, the latest Hollywood movie is all about telling a story is it not! Apart from being a source of great entertainment, storytelling can be educational and can help mold and nurture a young person’s psyche as well. Storytelling is also being used as a platform for social development, fostering of human rights and so on.


Take for instance the work done by this organization called Center for Digital Storytelling. They go about developing programs to help communities share stories and make significant changes when it comes to social upliftment. Whether it is an educational strategy or a form of societal development, digital storytelling can indeed go a long way. Take a look at the TED talk of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, a novelist, who talks so very interestingly about how stories can change the way children think.
































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When it comes to the field of education, storytelling has indeed proved to be a hugely useful to for helping a student with communication skills and articulation. Interestingly, stories also go a very long way in helping them develop interpersonal skills. Equally interesting is the fact that listening to stories can also help in dealing with national catastrophes. For instance, the stunning research done by Dr.Honos-Webb and Sunwolf concentrated on telling stories; especially folktales; post 9-11. College students showed a marked decrease in anxiety after short sessions of listening to folk tales in this study.

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It is not just the world of academics or little children that are the focus of stories. Brands, business organizations and advertising agencies constantly talk about the storyboard or the importance of telling a good story when it comes to marketing. Obviously, there is no getting away from the fact that a good story is like a delivery system of an idea or a thought that can have an impact on one’s psyche. Considering the fact that it has withstood the passage of time and simply changed form and evolved, it does not really matter how old you are! You simply have to look around you and find stories that you enjoy.






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