There was genuine excitement in the air as a crowd of more than 30 people gathered up for the weekly Tuesday Hub Breakfast. The crowd was a diverse one ranging from the usual suspects to freelance journalists, linguists, life coaches, all kind of entrepreneurs and a group of Aalto university students. Nevertheless, all were present for the same reason. They wanted to meet Simon Hodges, The Storyteller.
What is storytelling all about?
According to Mr Hodges, it is about creating awareness who your audience is, what you can contribute to their lives and how you wish to communicate it. Simon does this with Words that change. He believes everyone is a storyteller. ”Storytelling is about accessing what is real to you, what is authentic to you and in a sense what is unique to you. First of all understanding that and then learning how to communicate that in a sometimes fun way, sometimes a serious way and sometimes in a sincere way. And that’s really the business of telling stories.” There are different type of storytellers: ”some are writers, some are journalists, some are film makers and some are designers, Some are very good at getting stories out of other people. These people are coaches or the story carriers as we call them”.
”Questioning is a part of bringing your story into the world” Simon argues. He presented a task for all the breakfast guests. He asked them to choose a pair and share their stories with each other. The other one was the speaker, the other the question asker. The speaker told some facts of his or her life and afterwards the question asker would ask a question starting with the sentence ”hearing that, what I’d like to ask you is”. The discussion started to flow and the feedback afterwards was encouraging. For one guest it felt almost like therapy for another it proved to be a good way to know peoples goals.
Asked for examples of people who have benefitted from his workshops, he names an academic who got an idea how he was going to talk through his writing to other academics in a more personal way about the things they were really interested. A recent story that started to evolve during one of Simon’s workshops is a beautiful video that a Swedish woman uploaded on Youtube, Once upon a time in Paperville.
The international HUB Network
Simon is also a member of Hub Amsterdam and as such truly a great example of the benefits of the ever-growing international Hub network. Simon believes there to really be ”a global class of creative person”. In his view, ”they seem to be, in very different ways, interested in the same thing. That is how are we expected to provide for ourselves in a responsible way”. Common for this creative international class is to consider how they can transform existing institutions, existing companies and governments through the work that they do. Simon points out, that “it’s quite exiting that this class of person have an established network that is on the ground, not just an internet thing, it’s on the ground in different places. It’s that’s lovely to connect with these people. I can come to Hub Helsinki with storytelling. Just like today’s breakfast”.
It was a pleasure to have you over, Simon. Welcome back anytime.
Storytelling for business workshop 20.9.2012 10am – 6pm.
More details here.
Also, be sure to come to our next week Tuesday morning breakfast. It will again be something different but as meaningful as always.