Whether the storyteller crafts a tale to encourage reflection, tells a tale seasoned with a touch of amplification, or conveys a tale so raw that it can poignantly stand alone, it is the storyteller’s unwavering desire to communicate the story that makes the story, and its teller, inextricably connected. When this connection takes place, the storyteller becomes an agent not of performance, but of authenticity. The authentic storyteller solidifies a relationship with his audience. The result? Every story is real.
Coherence refers to whether the story makes sense? Do the events follow each other in some logical fashion? Are there any gaps in time? Is time accounted for? Are things consistent? Are the transitions clear and thorough? How does the story compare to specific stories we are told of similar situations? Are you hearing a story with guided sequence or a meandering maze of confusing details? Look at these two examples of the beginning of the same story. Why does the illustration of the coherent beginning help you to better follow the story than the incoherent one?
No suspenders today. I am a model for Calvin Klein underwear. I couldn’t wait to get to this reunion. Oh, yea. Those pants hiked up to my chin. Today I feel proud. No asthmatic inhaler in my front pocket today. I didn’t want to go to my last high school reunion because I didn’t have any confidence. Those last two years in high school were terrible. Now I do. I was scrawny and those clips on the suspenders, you know the kind, had those large brass clips holding up my pants. I wasn’t exactly athletic. I hadn’t yet overcome those laughs. I was never chosen for kick-ball either.
I didn’t want to go to my last High School reunion, because I hadn’t yet overcome the laughs that came my way every day during my last two years of high school. And considering how I looked, laughs were all I expected. I was scrawny, and needed to wear my pants hiked up to my chin, held firm by those cheap suspenders. You know, the kind, with big brass clips latched on to your pants? Oh, it got worse. I used to carry one of those asthmatic inhalers in my shirt pocket. Needless to say I wasn’t seen as the athletic type. Hey, would you choose me on your kick-ball team? I didn’t think so. I lost my confidence at every turn during those years. But today I feel proud. I couldn’t wait to attend this reunion. I’m a model for Calvin Klein underwear. Oh, yea. No suspenders today.
Get it? Good!