Speak Up Storytelling

By Matthew and Elysha Dicks

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Description

Learn to tell better stories from the producers of Speak Up, a Hartford-based storytelling organization. 36-time Moth StorySLAM champion and 6-time GrandSLAM champion Matthew Dicks partners with his wife, Elysha Dicks, to share stories recorded from years of Speak Up shows. More importantly, they offer tips, feedback, strategies, and advice on these stories, all in an effort to help you tell the best stories.

Episode Date
Erica Donahue: "The Trunk"
01:02:28

On episode #28 of the Speak Up Storytelling podcast, Matthew and Elysha Dicks talk storytelling!

In our followup segment, we talk about upcoming Speak Up events, offer insight on Tasmanian Devils, respond to some listener emails about PTSD, and apologize for failing to record a new episode last week.  

Next, we talk about finding and collecting stories in your everyday life using "Homework for Life." We talk about the value of finding "worsts" in your life, then we talk about how to apply perspective to your Homework for Life in an effort to find more stories. 

Next we listen to Erica Donahue's story about attending college in rural Virginia as a fish out of water.

After listening, we discuss:

  1. The effective use of details in a story

  2. The broadening of stakes

  3. The power of contrast

  4. The avoiding of thesis statements

  5. The value of the slow reveal

Next, we answer questions about effective transitions and how and when to tell stories involving trauma. 

Finally, we each offer a recommendation.  

LINKS

New York City Public Library appearance registration

Homework for Life: https://bit.ly/2f9ZPne

Matthew Dicks's website: http://www.matthewdicks.com

Matthew Dicks's YouTube channel:
https://www.youtube.com/matthewjohndicks 

Subscribe to Matthew Dicks's weekly newsletter: 
http://www.matthewdicks.com/matthewdicks-subscribe

Your geographic opposite: 
www.antipodesmap.com

This Is Going to Suck:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N3J4Q5c1C1w

RECOMMEDATIONS

Elysha:

Matt:

Dec 17, 2018
Sam Carely: "Bet Wetter [rebroadcast]
47:13

The combination of Hanukah and an injury (happily not too serious) to our son's foot has made it impossible to record a new episode for you this week, so please enjoy this rebroadcast of one of our most popular episodes ever.

Elysha and I will be back next week with a brand new episode. 

Happy Hanukah to all of our Jewish listeners! 

_____________________________________

On episode #4 of Speak Up Storytelling, Matthew and Elysha Dicks talk storytelling!

We talk about about finding excellent stories in your everyday life using my strategy "Homework for Life" and the importance of transformation in storytelling. 

Then we listen to Sam Carley's story about a challenging bus ride through an Indian desert with the possible girl of his dreams, followed by commentary and critique, including:

  1. The ideal arc of a story
  2. Describing human beings in stories
  3. Limiting unnecessary description
  4. Advancing time in a story

Next, we answer listener questions and offer recommendations.  

LINKS

Homework for Life: https://bit.ly/2f9ZPne

Speak Up storytelling: http://speakupstorytelling.com

Matthew Dicks's website: http://www.matthewdicks.com

Matthew Dicks's YouTube channel:
https://www.youtube.com/matthewjohndicks 

RECOMMENDATIONS

Queer Eye for the Straight Guy:
https://www.netflix.com/title/80160037

Evernote:
https://evernote.com

Dec 10, 2018
Kathy Binder: "Claire?"
01:18:54

On episode #27 of the Speak Up Storytelling podcast, Matthew and Elysha Dicks talk storytelling alongside storyteller Kathy Binder. 

In our followup segment, we talk about upcoming Speak Up events, respond to listener comments, and offer another shout-out to our fans down under. 

Next, we talk about finding and collecting stories in your everyday life using "Homework for Life." We talk about a single word (spoken on episode #26 of this podcast) can amount to a Homework for Life moment, and how that might be used in a story (including how to frame the story)

Next we listen to Kathy Binder's story about breaking down on the Taconic Parkway on a frigid, winter night with a newborn. 

After listening, we discuss:

  1. The effective use of humor in storytelling
  2. The beauty if a story's imperfection
  3. Coincidence stories
  4. The preservation of surprise
  5. Maintaining important ideas throughout a story 
  6. Nervous as a part of public storytelling and speaking
  7. The importance of stating stakes early 
  8. Techniques for shortening stories

Next, we answer questions about hints to winning Moth and other competitive storytelling events and the responsibility of the storyteller and the audience. 

Finally, we each offer a recommendation.  

LINKS

New York City Public Library appearance registration

Homework for Life: https://bit.ly/2f9ZPne

Matthew Dicks's website: http://www.matthewdicks.com

Matthew Dicks's YouTube channel:
https://www.youtube.com/matthewjohndicks 

Subscribe to Matthew Dicks's weekly newsletter: 
http://www.matthewdicks.com/matthewdicks-subscribe

The Robbery: https://bit.ly/2DWczc2

The Promise: https://bit.ly/2zGe4au

RECOMMEDATIONS

Elysha:

Matt:

Kathy Binder

Dec 03, 2018
Linda Storms: "The Dog"
01:02:10

On episode #26 of the Speak Up Storytelling podcast, Matthew and Elysha Dicks talk storytelling!

In our followup segment, we talk about upcoming Speak Up events, respond to listener comments, and offer a shout-out to our fans down under. 

Next, we talk about finding and collecting stories in your everyday life using "Homework for Life." We talk about how the moments that we find using Homework for Life might represent the mid-point in a story rather than the end. We also talk about how doing Homework for Life can allow you to examine your life more often and more fully. 

Next we listen to Linda Storms' story about running for her life at the ripe old age of six. 

After listening, we discuss:

  1. The power of embodying your former self when telling a story
  2. The power of the perfect ending to a story
  3. The spooling out of details slowly to preserve surprise and suspense
  4. The effects of raising the stakes throughout a story 
  5. The way in which the physical description of a person can say a great deal about that person
  6. Allowing the beginning and ending of a story to engage in a conversation with each other
  7. The difference between an episode from our lives and a real moment from our lives 

Next, we answer questions about our worst storytelling moments ever and the variety of motivations that bring storytellers to the stage. 

Finally, we each offer a recommendation.  

LINKS

Homework for Life: https://bit.ly/2f9ZPne

Matthew Dicks's website: http://www.matthewdicks.com

Matthew Dicks's YouTube channel:
https://www.youtube.com/matthewjohndicks 

Subscribe to Matthew Dicks's weekly newsletter: 
http://www.matthewdicks.com/matthewdicks-subscribe

The Robbery: https://bit.ly/2DWczc2

RECOMMEDATIONS

Elysha:

Matt:

Nov 26, 2018
Renae Edge: "Heard It In a Love Song" [rebroadcast]
01:05:27

Happy Thanksgiving to all of our listeners in the United States. 

Elysha and I are taking the holiday off and rebroadcasting episode #14, which features the joyous story of Renae Edge. 

We thought it would be perfect for a Thanksgiving Day listen. 

We'll be back next week with a brand new episode. 

______________________________________________

On episode #14, Matthew and Elysha Dicks talk about finding excellent stories in your everyday life using Matthew's strategy "Homework for Life," including moments that storytellers see but non-storytellers might not. 

Then we listen to Renae Edge's story about finding her voice for the first time, followed by commentary and critique, including:

  1. The effective use of backstory or flashbacks in a story
  2. The components of an especially effective beginning to a story
  3. Singing in stories
  4. Strong feelings about dream sequences
  5. Specificity of names

Elysha and Matt then answer listener questions about building a story with flashbacks and telling effective best man speeches. 

Lastly, Matt and Elysha each offer a recommendation. 

LINKS

Homework for Life: https://bit.ly/2f9ZPne

Matthew Dicks's website: http://www.matthewdicks.com

Matthew Dicks's YouTube channel:
https://www.youtube.com/matthewjohndicks 

Malcolm Gladwell's "Her Way" (Moth story):
https://bit.ly/1ngfYQp

RECOMMENDATIONS

Elysha: Our family's ice cream adventures - 
https://bit.ly/2N0yIa3 

Matt: Memento in order - 
https://vimeo.com/194394156 

Nov 19, 2018
Jenny Steadman: "Cheese and Crackers"
01:18:34

On episode #25 of the Speak Up Storytelling podcast, Matthew and Elysha Dicks are joined by storyteller Danielle Dnes to talk storytelling!

In our followup segment, we talk about upcoming Speak Up shows and messages received from around the world. 

Next, we talk about finding and collecting stories in your everyday life using "Homework for Life." Danielle recently reached the 100 day mark in her Homework for Life and shared it with Matt and Elysha. We poke through the 100 days to find some stories that Danielle didn't initially see upon first glance. 

Then we listen to Jenny Steadman's story about the pressures of playing golf with her grandfather and his pals. 

After listening, we discuss:

  1. Effective character and location descriptions
  2. Planting seeds early in a story that will sprout later
  3. The best way to repeat a laugh line throughout a story
  4. Pacing and pausing 
  5. "The curse of knowledge" in storytelling

Next, we answer questions about a storytelling improv game that we use in workshops and is detailed in Storyworthy. We even play a round to demonstrate. 

Finally, we each offer a recommendation.  

LINKS

Homework for Life: https://bit.ly/2f9ZPne

Storyworthy: Engage, Teach, Persuade, and Change Your Life Through the Power of Storytelling: https://amzn.to/2RIHR9g

Matthew Dicks's website: http://www.matthewdicks.com

Matthew Dicks's YouTube channel:
https://www.youtube.com/matthewjohndicks 

RECOMMEDATIONS

Elysha:

Matt:

Nov 12, 2018
Erin Barker: Why the Axe?
01:02:06

On episode #24 of the Speak Up Storytelling podcast, Matthew and Elysha Dicks talk storytelling!

In our followup segment, we talk about upcoming Speak Up shows and messages received from around the world. 

Next, we talk about finding and collecting stories in your everyday life using "Homework for Life." We talk about the value of preserving memories for storytelling but also because throwing away memories is something we do every day but later regret.  

Then we listen to Erin Barker's story about finding her love for learning thanks to a man with an axe. 

After listening, we discuss:

  1. The effectiveness of a clear story arc
  2. The difference between a funny story and a funny story with real heart and meaning
  3. The potential humor of specificity
  4. The power and inherent strength demonstrated in authentic, honest self-deprecation 
  5. Embedding learning within a story
  6. Chekov's gun 

Next, we answer questions about starting stories with the word "So" and the economics of storytelling. 

Finally, we each offer a recommendation.  

LINKS

Homework for Life: https://bit.ly/2f9ZPne

Matthew Dicks's website: http://www.matthewdicks.com

Matthew Dicks's YouTube channel:
https://www.youtube.com/matthewjohndicks 

Lexicon Valley's episode on the increasingly common use of the word "so" and how it's use has change today:
https://bit.ly/1GmKTao

RECOMMEDATIONS

Elysha:

Matt:

Nov 05, 2018
Laura Terranova: Surrender
01:15:37

On episode #23 of the Speak Up Storytelling podcast, Matthew and Elysha Dicks talk storytelling!

In our followup segment, we discuss a brand new rule for The Moth's StorySLAM series. We also talk about why storytelling is a superpower and the many doors that being an effective communicator can open for you. 

Next, we talk about finding and collecting stories in your everyday life using "Homework for Life." We discuss the possibility of incorporating Homework for Life into a daily to-do list, discuss Homework for Life advice from a listener, learn how a child is now doing Homework for Life, and review how a moment that didn't seem like much initially might be storyworthy after all. 

Then we listen to Laura Terranova's story about finding herself in a hospital bed, unable to communicate to the outside world.

After listening, we discuss:

  1. Elements of an effective beginning
  2. Outstanding transition strategies
  3. Character building throughout a story
  4. Elements of an effective ending 
  5. The power of a name in storytelling

Next, we answer questions about the dangers of dominating conversations when you have many stories to tell and how to handle the moment when you thought you were funny but the audience did not. 

Finally, we each offer a recommendation.  

LINKS

Homework for Life: https://bit.ly/2f9ZPne

Matthew Dicks's website: http://www.matthewdicks.com

Matthew Dicks's YouTube channel:
https://www.youtube.com/matthewjohndicks 

RECOMMEDATIONS

Elysha:
Zaria Foreman: http://www.zariaforman.com
CBS Sunday Morning: https://cbsn.ws/2GFh3SU

Matt: Merriam-Webster's Time Traveler - 
https://bit.ly/2CJpTzc

Oct 29, 2018
Q&A Catch-up
51:04

On episode #22 of the Speak Up Storytelling podcast, Matthew and Elysha Dicks talk about finding excellent stories in your everyday life using Matthew's strategy "Homework for Life." They discuss how a moment can not only be storyworthy for the stage but might be useful in many other contexts in life.  

Next, we break format. Rather than listening to a story and critiquing, we decided to clear out the mailbox by dedicating this episode to listener questions.

We answer questions about:

  1. Telling other people's stories
  2. Storytelling etiquette
  3. Homework for Life best practices
  4. The verbal detritus than can sometimes accompany storytelling
  5. The importance of stories being relatable

Then we end the podcast from a remarkable clip from a popular Netflix series. 

LINKS

Homework for Life: https://bit.ly/2f9ZPne

Matthew Dicks's website: http://www.matthewdicks.com

Matthew Dicks's YouTube channel:
https://www.youtube.com/matthewjohndicks 

Oct 22, 2018
Don Picard: "Tears on Bourbon Street"
01:07:46

On episode #21, Matthew and Elysha Dicks talk about finding excellent stories in your everyday life using Matthew's strategy "Homework for Life." They discuss how a moment that didn't seem initially storyworthy can prove to be storyworthy with a little consideration. They also get two outstanding Homework for Life recommendations from listeners. 

Next, we listen to Don Picard's story about his unusual family, followed by commentary and critique, including:

  1. Breaking longer stories into two or more shorter stories
  2. Encapsulating big ideas in small, specific scenes
  3. The funneling of a story from fast paced, episodic moments that advance time quickly to the specific heart of the story
  4. Summarizing unique, odd, and incomprehensible moments in story
  5. Preserving surprising and allowing your audience to draw their own conclusions
  6. The importance of time order to avoid confusion

Then we answer a listener question about what we do for a living when not working on Speak Up. 

Lastly, we each offer a recommendation. 

LINKS

Homework for Life: https://bit.ly/2f9ZPne

Matthew Dicks's website: http://www.matthewdicks.com

Matthew Dicks's YouTube channel:
https://www.youtube.com/matthewjohndicks 

RECOMMENDATIONS

Elysha: Bethany Van Delft's "Light and Hope"

Video: https://bit.ly/2IYzza6  
Audio: https://bit.ly/2OVE4HW


Matt: Moments of Note

Oct 15, 2018
Matthew Dicks: "A Date with a Jail Cell"
01:02:25

On episode #20, Matthew and Elysha Dicks talk about finding excellent stories in your everyday life using Matthew's strategy "Homework for Life." They discuss how a small moment could be used in a multitude of ways. 

Next, we listen to Matthew Dicks's story (me!) about being arrested for a crime he did not commit, followed by commentary and critique, including:

  1. Effective openings to stories
  2. The use of interior dialogue 
  3. Telling the story from the perspective of who the storyteller was rather than who the storyteller is
  4. The power of ending stories with unanswered questions
  5. Avoiding confusion in a story through the use of ambiguity or cultural references

Then we answer listener questions about copyright, launching your own storytelling show, and the intersection of storytelling with film and television.  

Lastly, we each offer a recommendation. 

LINKS

Homework for Life: https://bit.ly/2f9ZPne

Matthew Dicks's website: http://www.matthewdicks.com

Matthew Dicks's YouTube channel:
https://www.youtube.com/matthewjohndicks 

RECOMMENDATIONS

Elysha: Stories by Michaela Murphy -
https://themoth.org/storytellers/michaela-murphy

Matt: Born to Run by Bruce Springsteen -
https://amzn.to/2eJS6KN

Oct 08, 2018
Valerie Gordon: "I Am I Said"
58:38

On episode #19, Matthew and Elysha Dicks talk about finding excellent stories in your everyday life using Matthew's strategy "Homework for Life." They discuss how small moments with universal appeal can often make great stories.

Next, we listen to Valerie Gordon's outstanding story about a surprising encounter with Neil Diamond, followed by commentary and critique, including:

  1. Telling stories that include extraordinary events that are not specifically about or depend upon the extraordinary event
  2. The purpose and power of repetition
  3. The brilliant use of internal and external dialogue
  4. Breaking the "stories must be told in scenes" rule
  5. The power of uncertainty 
  6. Ending a story with heart

Then we answer listener questions about crafting rhythm in stories and what it's like to be married to someone who shares so much of his life with the world. 

Lastly, we each offer a recommendation. 

LINKS

Homework for Life: https://bit.ly/2f9ZPne

Matthew Dicks's website: http://www.matthewdicks.com

Matthew Dicks's YouTube channel:
https://www.youtube.com/matthewjohndicks 

Strip Club of My Own Making: https://bit.ly/2xYWGfJ

Sex With Corn: https://bit.ly/2y0DvSx

RECOMMENDATIONS

Elysha: Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls - 
https://amzn.to/2IpetRO

Matt: Patti Smith at the 2016 Nobel Prize Ceremony - 
https://bit.ly/2nuDAr8

Oct 01, 2018
Ron Apter: "Baby Politics"
55:50

On episode #18, Matthew and Elysha Dicks talk about finding excellent stories in your everyday life using Matthew's strategy "Homework for Life." They discuss how the stories we find in a day can sometimes be the building blocks of much larger stories. They also hear from two listeners on how Homework for Life is changing their lives. 

Next, we listen to Ron Apter's outstanding story about fatherhood, followed by commentary and critique, including:

  1. Building a story from a single moment
  2. Stories that take place in narrowly defined settings
  3. Strong beginnings
  4. Two strategies to create humor in storytelling
  5. Vocabulary choice

Then we answer a listener question about using swear words and racial, ethnic, and religious slurs in storytelling. 

Lastly, we each offer a recommendation. 

LINKS

Homework for Life: https://bit.ly/2f9ZPne

Matthew Dicks's website: http://www.matthewdicks.com

Matthew Dicks's YouTube channel:
https://www.youtube.com/matthewjohndicks 

Shoe Thief: https://bit.ly/2JJT4C8

The Diary of Samuel Pepys: https://www.pepysdiary.com

Erin Barker "Good News Vs. Bad" - 
https://themoth.org/stories/good-news-versus-bad

RECOMMENDATIONS

Elysha: Last Stop on Market Street - 
https://amzn.to/2QMMUWB

Matt: Here's How to Brag Without Making People Hate You- 
https://ti.me/2NxdiG2

Sep 24, 2018
Robin Gelfenbien: "What Would Marie Kondo Do?"
01:01:26

On episode #17, Matthew and Elysha Dicks talk about finding excellent stories in your everyday life using Matthew's strategy "Homework for Life." They discuss the Homework for Life provided by a listener, and Matt offers three possible storyworthy moments and explains why some are better than others. 

Then we listen to Robin Gelfenbien's outstanding story about looking for love, followed by commentary and critique, including:

  1. Strong endings
  2. Clearly defined story arcs
  3. Vocal modulation 
  4. Joke telling in storytelling
  5. The importance of scenes
  6. Preserving surprise
  7. How to create "weight" in a story"

Elysha and Matt then answer listener questions about Hoemwork for Life and storytelling in everyday life. 

Lastly, Matt and Elysha each offer a recommendation. 

LINKS

Yums the Word: http://www.yumsthewordshow.com

Homework for Life: https://bit.ly/2f9ZPne

Matthew Dicks's website: http://www.matthewdicks.com

Matthew Dicks's YouTube channel:
https://www.youtube.com/matthewjohndicks 

RECOMMENDATIONS

Elysha: Modern Jewish Baker - 
https://amzn.to/2xk0uaY

Matt: The Matrix: A Lesson in Effective Scene Transitions - 
https://bit.ly/2ME9InW

Sep 17, 2018
Michelle Sebastianelli: Bear in a Yoga Studio [rebroadcast]
48:44

A combination of the Jewish holiday of Rosh Hashanah and an insidious illness that has plagued three of the four members of the Dicks household has caused us to offer you this rebroadcast of one of our earliest (and most popular) episodes of Speak Up Storytelling this week. 

Happy New Year to all our Jewish listeners!

We'll be back with a new episode for you next Monday!
______________________________________________

On episode #2, Matthew and Elysha Dicks talk about finding excellent stories in your everyday life using Matthew's strategy "Homework for Life. 

Then we listen to Michelle Sebastianelli's story about her attempt to transform herself through yoga, followed by commentary and critique, including:

  1. The value of authenticity
  2. The importance of language 
  3. Strategies to keep your audience "in the moment"
  4. Constructing humor

Elysha and Matt also answer listener questions and offer recommendations. 

LINKS

Homework for Life: https://bit.ly/2f9ZPne

Speak Up storytelling: http://speakupstorytelling.com

Matthew Dicks: http://www.matthewdicks.com

RECOMMENDATIONS

Ear Hustle: https://www.earhustlesq.com 

A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership by James Comey: https://amzn.to/2v0kz8r

Sep 10, 2018
Monica Cleveland: "The Sound of Silence"
01:02:37

On episode #16, Matthew and Elysha Dicks talk about finding excellent stories in your everyday life using Matthew's strategy "Homework for Life." Specifically, they discuss how storytellers can sometimes be in the middle of a story and not even know it.

Then we listen to Monica Cleveland's story about a long, silent date, followed by commentary and critique, including:

  1. Inhabiting your story
  2. The B-A-b-C structure of storytelling
  3. Preserving surprise via misdirection
  4. Silence in storytelling
  5. Choosing the appropriate amount of description for a story

Elysha and Matt then answer listener questions about storytelling for children and handling stories that risk alienating an audience.

Lastly, Matt and Elysha each offer a recommendation. 

LINKS

Homework for Life: https://bit.ly/2f9ZPne

Matthew Dicks's website: http://www.matthewdicks.com

Matthew Dicks's YouTube channel:
https://www.youtube.com/matthewjohndicks 

"Cardboard Knight" -  
https://bit.ly/2LOjjZ0

RECOMMENDATIONS

Elysha: Everything is Alive (podcast) - 
https://www.radiotopia.fm/podcasts/everything-is-alive

Matt: What the Heck? (podcast) - 
https://apple.co/2PnKoVc

 

Sep 03, 2018
Roquita Johnson: "Stars on the Ceiling"
01:05:03

On episode #15, Matthew and Elysha Dicks talk about finding excellent stories in your everyday life using Matthew's strategy "Homework for Life," including moments that storytellers see but non-storytellers might not. 

Then we listen to Roquita Johnson's story about finding her calling, followed by commentary and critique, including:

  1. The components of an especially effective beginning to a story
  2. Outstanding use of dialogue in stories
  3. Variations in tonality
  4. "seeing" your story
  5. The best moments to add description to a story
  6. Preserving surprise in a story

Elysha and Matt then answer listener questions about becoming emotional while telling a story, the past and present tense, and how to pitch a story to Speak Up.  

Lastly, Matt and Elysha each offer a recommendation. 

LINKS

Homework for Life: https://bit.ly/2f9ZPne

Matthew Dicks's website: http://www.matthewdicks.com

Matthew Dicks's YouTube channel:
https://www.youtube.com/matthewjohndicks 

"This is Going to Suck"- 
https://bit.ly/2MzT0Ll

RECOMMENDATIONS

Elysha: Cup of Jo's "Parenting Around the World - 
https://bit.ly/2kNrRnV

Matt: Kathryn Joosten - 
https://bit.ly/2oagYyl

Aug 27, 2018
Renae Edge: "Heard It In a Love Song"
01:05:27

On episode #14, Matthew and Elysha Dicks talk about finding excellent stories in your everyday life using Matthew's strategy "Homework for Life," including moments that storytellers see but non-storytellers might not. 

Then we listen to Renae Edge's story about finding her voice for the first time, followed by commentary and critique, including:

  1. The effective use of backstory or flashbacks in a story
  2. The components of an especially effective beginning to a story
  3. Singing in stories
  4. Strong feelings about dream sequences
  5. Specificity of names

Elysha and Matt then answer listener questions about building a story with flashbacks and telling effective best man speeches. 

Lastly, Matt and Elysha each offer a recommendation. 

LINKS

Homework for Life: https://bit.ly/2f9ZPne

Matthew Dicks's website: http://www.matthewdicks.com

Matthew Dicks's YouTube channel:
https://www.youtube.com/matthewjohndicks 

Malcolm Gladwell's "Her Way" (Moth story):
https://bit.ly/1ngfYQp

RECOMMENDATIONS

Elysha: Our family's ice cream adventures - 
https://bit.ly/2N0yIa3 

Matt: Memento in order - 
https://vimeo.com/194394156 

Aug 20, 2018
Leland Brandt: "Some Kind of Wonderful"
01:06:31

On episode #13, Matthew and Elysha Dicks talk about finding excellent stories in your everyday life using Matthew's strategy "Homework for Life," including moments that consist only of thought and yet are potentially storyworthy. They also talk about the predictive nature of certain words and phrases. 

Then we listen to Leland Brandt's story about his crush on the character in a movie, and his opportunity to meet that character later in life, followed by commentary and critique, including:

1. Summarizing stories within a story

2. Telling stories that span years chronologically 

3. Maintaining delight and surprise through pacing

4. Inhabiting the story for emotional effect

5. Finding universally connective moments in stories

6. Seeing storytelling as a matter of engineering or choice

Elysha and Matt then answer listener questions about preparing stories for the stage (including memorization and practice) and the nature of Moth storytellers today. 

Lastly, Matt and Elysha each offer a recommendation. 

LINKS

Homework for Life: https://bit.ly/2f9ZPne

Matthew Dicks's website: http://www.matthewdicks.com

Matthew Dicks's YouTube channel:
https://www.youtube.com/matthewjohndicks 

RECOMMENDATIONS

Elysha: Ink (the app) - https://sincerely.com/ink

Matt: "Jeff Bezos Banned PowerPoint in Meetings. His Replacement Is Brilliant" - https://bit.ly/2KbVScq

Aug 13, 2018
Jeni Bonaldo: "Poolside Imposters"
01:03:14

On episode #12, Matthew and Elysha Dicks are joined by storyteller and guest host Jeni Bonaldo.

We talk about finding excellent stories in your everyday life using Matthew's strategy "Homework for Life," including how moments from our lives can mean different things depending on the story we want to tell. We also hear from Jeni and Elysha on how they are applying Homework for Life.  

Then we listen to Jeni's story about pretending to be something your not while poolside and the ramifications of this innocent game of imposters, followed by commentary and critique, including:

1. How to remember your story

2. Strategies to hide a surprise in a story

3. The elements of a highly effective opening to a story

Elysha, Matt, and Jeni then answer listener questions about preparing stories for the stage and dealing with nervousness prior to and during a performance. 

Lastly, Matt, Elysha, and Jeni each offer a recommendation. 

LINKS

Homework for Life: https://bit.ly/2f9ZPne

Matthew Dicks's website: http://www.matthewdicks.com

Matthew Dicks's YouTube channel:
https://www.youtube.com/matthewjohndicks 

RECOMMENDATIONS

Elysha: Hit Parade podcast - 
https://slate.me/2uNZrSF

Matt: Courtney Bellanti's GrandSLAM story -
https://bit.ly/2AFgl96

Jeni: Spoken word poet Olivia Gatwood - 
https://www.oliviagatwood.com

Aug 06, 2018
Jessica Isom: "The Kindness of Strangers"
01:01:26

On episode #11, Matthew and Elysha Dicks talk about finding excellent stories in your everyday life using Matthew's strategy "Homework for Life," including how moments seemingly inconsequential moments can become good stories. They also talk about how Homework for Life is useful for fiction writers, too.

Then we listen to Jessica Isom's story about the secret weighing on her heart and mind during her final weekend of college, followed by commentary and critique, including:

1. The power of vulnerability

2. The importance of giving the most important moments in your story the proper weight

3. The effectiveness of an early stake

4. The use of the phrase "for example"

5. The effective use of a "crystal ball" in a story. 

Elysha and Matt also answer listener questions about why storytelling shows often have themes and how to tell stories about other people.

LINKS

Homework for Life: https://bit.ly/2f9ZPne

Matt's shoe thief story: https://bit.ly/2JJT4C8

Speak Up storytelling: http://speakupstorytelling.com

Matthew Dicks's website: http://www.matthewdicks.com

Matthew Dicks's YouTube channel:
https://www.youtube.com/matthewjohndicks 

RECOMMENDATIONS

Elysha: Jurassic Park (the movie)

Matt: Cinefix's Top 5 Plot Points of All Time: https://bit.ly/2Aw4SbV

Jul 30, 2018
Kristin Budde: "Patients Belong in Their Beds"
50:48

On episode #10, Matthew and Elysha Dicks talk about finding excellent stories in your everyday life using Matthew's strategy "Homework for Life," including how moments from today can unearth valuable and sometimes unbelievable moments from the past. They also talk about how not every moment is destined to be a formal story but can have a variety of other uses. 

Then we listen to Kristin Budde's story about being a new doctor with a problematic patent, followed by commentary and critique, including:

1. The strategic use of humor in a story

2. Shifting perspectives between the first, second, and third person

3. The best place for a story to land

4. The proper use of the word nonplussed

Elysha and Matt also answer listener questions about their marriage and when it's okay to break Matt's storytelling principles. 

LINKS

Homework for Life: https://bit.ly/2f9ZPne

Matt's shoe thief story: https://bit.ly/2JJT4C8

Speak Up storytelling: http://speakupstorytelling.com

Matthew Dicks's website: http://www.matthewdicks.com

Matthew Dicks's YouTube channel:
https://www.youtube.com/matthewjohndicks 

RECOMMENDATIONS

Chef's Table Episode #1: https://bit.ly/2A2cMcz

The Story Collider: https://www.storycollider.org

Jul 23, 2018
Alan Mackenzie: "New Boy in Town"
51:48

On episode #9, Matthew and Elysha Dicks talk about finding excellent stories in your everyday life using Matthew's strategy "Homework for Life," including how a storytelling deep dive into a particular day can often yield fantastic results and how stories that stretch across long periods of time should be told in particular ways. 

Then we listen to Alan Mackenzie's story about being a new boy in town in search of friendship and love, followed by commentary and critique, including:

1. Elevating stakes in a story

2. The use of the present tense

3. Word and sentence choices in storytelling

4. Universal themes

5. The importance of introducing important characters early in a story

Elysha and Matt also answer listener questions about telling stories to children and offer some recommendations. 

LINKS

Homework for Life: https://bit.ly/2f9ZPne

Matt's robbery story: https://bit.ly/2NlL24G

Speak Up storytelling: http://speakupstorytelling.com

Matthew Dicks's website: http://www.matthewdicks.com

Matthew Dicks's YouTube channel:
https://www.youtube.com/matthewjohndicks 

RECOMMENDATIONS

Bare Republic Face Sunscreen Lotion:
https://amzn.to/2KZ5SKp

Bob Mankoff: Anatomy of a New Yorker Cartoon:
https://bit.ly/2NjNOqK

Jul 16, 2018
Sharon Snow: "Finding My Family"
54:40

On episode #8, Matthew and Elysha Dicks talk about finding excellent stories in your everyday life using Matthew's strategy "Homework for Life," including how some stories can take weeks, months, or years to tell.

Then we listen to Sharon Snow's story about her search for her father and the family she ultimately finds, followed by commentary and critique, including:

1. Elevating stakes in a story

2. Delaying a story to build suspense

3. The use of the phrase "true story"

4. The strategic use of humor

Elysha and Matt also answer listener questions about performance techniques and stream of consciousness writing.

LINKS

Homework for Life: https://bit.ly/2f9ZPne

Speak Up storytelling: http://speakupstorytelling.com

Matthew Dicks's website: http://www.matthewdicks.com

Matthew Dicks's YouTube channel:
https://www.youtube.com/matthewjohndicks 

RECOMMENDATIONS

The Legend of Rock, Paper, and Scissors:
https://amzn.to/2m52fDQ

Cobra Kai:
https://bit.ly/2qhliNw

Jul 09, 2018
Storyworthy book launch (Part 2)
01:03:34

This special episode of Speak Up Storytelling features the second half of the launch event for Matthew Dicks's new book:

Storyworthy: Engage, Teach, Persuade, and Change Your Life Through the Power of Storytelling. 

In this episode, you'll hear Matt tell two more stories and teach short lessons on storytelling after each one. He also answers questions from the audience, and Elysha Dicks sings and plays the ukulele in public for the first time.  

If you couldn't join us for this sold out show, here is the perfect way to listen to everything that happened that night. 

Hope you enjoy!

Jul 02, 2018
Storyworthy book launch (Part 1)
48:01

This special episode of Speak Up Storytelling features the first half of the launch event for Matthew Dicks's new book:

Storyworthy: Engage, Teach, Persuade, and Change Your Life Through the Power of Storytelling. 

In this episode, you'll hear Matt tell three stories and teach short lessons on storytelling after each one. 

If you couldn't join us for this sold out show, here is the perfect way to listen to everything that happened that night. 

Hope you enjoy!

 

Jun 25, 2018
Renata Sancken: "Haunted Mini Golf Course"
47:55

On episode #5, Matthew and Elysha Dicks talk about finding excellent stories in your everyday life using Matthew's strategy "Homework for Life" and the importance of transformation in storytelling. 

Then we listen to Renata Sancken's story about her adventures in ghost hunting, followed by commentary and critique, including:

1. The authenticity of the storyteller

2. Telling a story in scenes

3. Extending the arc of the story

4. Controlling your audience's wonder

Elysha and Matt also answer a listener question about anecdotes and offer recommendations.  

LINKS

Homework for Life: https://bit.ly/2f9ZPne

Speak Up storytelling: http://speakupstorytelling.com

Matthew Dicks's website: http://www.matthewdicks.com

Matthew Dicks's YouTube channel:
https://www.youtube.com/matthewjohndicks 

XMind
https://www.xmind.net

Tears in the Rain monologue (Blade Runner):
www.youtube.com/watch?v=oWXd1wVijqw

RECOMMENDATIONS

Dear Brother:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h2caT4q4Nbs

Back Pocket:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yG96RttfZtM

Jun 18, 2018
Sam Carley: "Bed Wetter"
47:13

On episode #4, Matthew and Elysha Dicks talk about finding excellent stories in your everyday life using Matthew's strategy "Homework for Life" and the importance of transformation in storytelling. 

Then we listen to Sam Carley's story about a challenging bus ride through an Indian desert with the possible girl of his dreams, followed by commentary and critique, including:

1. The ideal arc of a story

2. Describing human beings in stories

3. Limiting unnecessary description

4. Advancing time in a story

Elysha and Matt also answer listener questions and offer recommendations.  

LINKS

Homework for Life: https://bit.ly/2f9ZPne

Speak Up storytelling: http://speakupstorytelling.com

Matthew Dicks's website: http://www.matthewdicks.com

Matthew Dicks's YouTube channel:
https://www.youtube.com/matthewjohndicks 

RECOMMENDATIONS

Queer Eye for the Straight Guy:
https://www.netflix.com/title/80160037

Evernote:
https://evernote.com

Jun 11, 2018
Mansoor Basha: "Close Encounter"
48:54

On episode #3, Matthew and Elysha Dicks talk about finding excellent stories in your everyday life using Matthew's strategy "Homework for Life" and the importance of transformation in storytelling. 

Then we listen to Mansoor Basha's incredible story about the invasion of Kuwait in 1990, followed by commentary and critique, including:

1. Finding the best place to launch your story

2. The strategic use of humor in a story

3. Vocalization and pacing

Elysha and Matt also answer listener questions and offer recommendations.  

LINKS

Homework for Life: https://bit.ly/2f9ZPne

Speak Up storytelling: http://speakupstorytelling.com

Matthew Dicks's website: http://www.matthewdicks.com

Matthew Dicks's YouTube channel:
https://www.youtube.com/matthewjohndicks 

STORIES REFERENCED ON THE PODCAST

This Is Going to Suck: 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N3J4Q5c1C1w&t=33s

Strip Club of My Own Making: 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OdPS3Ai-vEw

RECOMMENDATIONS

Magician Marc Spelmann on Britain's Got Talent: 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rQ1mMtd-WIk

This American Life #647- Ladonna:
https://www.thisamericanlife.org/647/ladonna

Jun 04, 2018
Michelle Sebastianelli: "Bear in a Yoga Studio"
48:44

On episode #2, Matthew and Elysha Dicks talk about finding excellent stories in your everyday life using Matthew's strategy "Homework for Life. 

Then we listen to Michelle Sebastianelli's story about her attempt to transform herself through yoga, followed by commentary and critique, including:

1. The value of authenticity

2. The importance of language 

3. Strategies to keep your audience "in the moment"

4. Constructing humor

Elysha and Matt also answer listener questions and offer recommendations. 

 

LINKS

Homework for Life: https://bit.ly/2f9ZPne

Speak Up storytelling: http://speakupstorytelling.com

Matthew Dicks: http://www.matthewdicks.com

RECOMMENDATIONS

Ear Hustle: https://www.earhustlesq.com 

A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership by James Comey: https://amzn.to/2v0kz8r

May 28, 2018
Chris Kriesen: "I Am a Titan"
37:47

On episode #1, Matthew and Elysha Dicks talk about finding excellent stories in your everyday life using Matthew's strategy "Homework for Life. 

Then we listen to Chris Kriesen's epic story of a man who attempts to steal fire from the Gods at the summit of Mount Washington, followed by commentary and critique, including:

1. Finding the best spot to begin a story

2. The proper use of humor in storytelling

3. "Hiding" information in the early parts of a story

4. Ordering content for the best effect possible

LINKS

Homework for Life: https://bit.ly/2f9ZPne

Speak Up storytelling: http://speakupstorytelling.com

Matthew Dicks: http://www.matthewdicks.com

RECOMMENDATIONS

Why I Live in Mortal Dread of Public Speaking: https://bit.ly/1sUs2Ld

Circe by Madeline Miller: https://amzn.to/2IfsaSr 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

May 18, 2018