Storytelling and Connecting the Community

August 21, 2017

On a rainy Saturday, morning, a group of 20 strangers prepared themselves to hear and share stories. The Annex at Plexpod Westport Commons was filled with laughter and new memories. Artists, professionals, the collegiate, and entrepreneurs gathered together for a storytelling workshop. Pennez produces storytelling events to connect to a broader audience in Kansas City. Storytelling is an unrecognized art form where 90% of our surveyed audience members from previous events were unaware of storytelling with adults. Storytelling can be used for public speaking, sharing ideas about your community, and more.

To begin, Shanell Reffell, of Nella Yoga told the audience to “inhale and exhale” for deeper thought and peaceful meditation. She expressively encouraged everyone to expand their breathing and say, “Ha, ha, ha.” Harmoniously, a variety of laughs erupted from their diaphragms.

Jose Faus, Laura Packer, and Catina Taylor facilitated with a variety of teaching and discussions.

Jose Faus organized a group discussion on Telling Your Personal Story. “I liked how he asked each person to tell about themselves and what brought them there. Things they said, they subconsciously mentioned. His style was awesome, I really enjoyed that.  I was able to cultivate my own story ideas. As a society, we need to go back to storytelling. The immediacy of everything that we have, and the capacity that we have to store the information, makes  it meaningless.” Joe Hall, Consultant


Laura Packer provided discussion in a small group and one-on-one about Storytelling Fundamentals. She provided main highlights, and then groups shared personal stories one-on-one. “This was really a good reminder for me that any story is worth to tell. As a human being, we walk the way of life with different experiences some good and some not as good. Each of them shaped us in a way that made us the person we are now. Being in small community and sharing our story in front of other people reminded me how powerful the storytelling is. Just by sharing my story and hearing the story of the other participants, I felt connected and also less alone on the different challenges that life put in front of you. So for that, I am really grateful for participating and I am looking forward to meeting the team again for a Storytelling Open Mic!” Emilie Jackson Founder

Catina Taylor provided a whole group, small group, and one-on-one participation on Getting to the Why, How to Frame An Inspiring Story.  Catina focused on getting each participant to focus on their reasoning for telling a personal story as a business professional. “The workshop forced everyone to speak, write, and communicate. I enjoyed the workshop where I am personally trying to tell my story. I want to tell my successes and failures now. It was therapeutic to tell my story. A counselor sits and listens to you talk. There is something therapeutic to get it out of your chest and putting it on paper and getting someone to listen. If the audience is you and your thoughts, sometimes it is something that you need to release later. It can always take you there.”  Aaron Yancey, Writer

Storytelling is an art form that can not only improve your personal speaking skills but also your listening and empathy skills. We hope that you remain connected with us, and we will look forward to seeing you at our next storytelling event.

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