Storyworthy Book Summary - Storyworthy Book explained in key points
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Storyworthy summary

Matthew Dicks

Engage, Teach, Persuade, and Change Your Life through the Power of Storytelling

4.2 (268 ratings)
18 mins

Brief summary

'Storyworthy' by Matthew Dicks is a guidebook on how to craft and tell engaging stories. The author shares his personal experiences, tips and exercises that can turn any story into a captivating tale that resonates with the audience.

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    Great stories contain an element of change and cast the storyteller as the protagonist.

    The author teaches people from all walks of life how to tell stories about themselves and their experiences. From sales executives hoping to entrance potential clients to grandfathers wanting to engage with their grandchildren, the author believes storytelling helps everyone be a better communicator.

    Importantly, there are some non-negotiable rules to follow if you want to be an engaging storyteller.

    Firstly, your story shouldn’t just consist of a succession of extraordinary events – it should reflect some type of change happening to someone or something over a period of time.

    Don’t worry, though, because this change may be very small, and it also doesn’t need to reflect personal improvement. But some sort of change must occur in your story. Just consider the worst movies you’ve ever seen – even these reflect certain character changes during the action.

    Significantly, stories that fail to involve change over the narrative are simply anecdotes and include vacation-related stories, drinking stories and various other one-note romps. Anecdotes merely recount harrowing, heartfelt or funny moments that may have been extraordinary but, nonetheless, do not leave a permanent mark on who we are. Unfortunately, without an aspect of change, you can’t expect your listeners to feel any sort of deeper connection with you after you’ve finished, or to change their opinions about something important on the basis of what you’ve told them.

    You should also ensure that the stories you tell cast you as the protagonist. Your audience wants to hear about something that happened to you, rather than to your best friend.


    Importantly, there is something intrinsically vulnerable, gritty and immediate about hearing the story of the person standing right in front of you. Telling your story requires a lot more courage than telling someone else’s. It also involves hard truths and authenticity – all things that your audience will appreciate.

    Crucially, this is not to say that you can’t tell another person’s story; you just need to tell it from your perspective. For instance, through his work with an organization called Voices of Hope, the author taught Holocaust survivors’ children how to tell the stories of their parents. Importantly, they learned how to structure their stories so that the narrative was grounded in their lives while also dipping into the past to include their parents’ experiences. Thus, their stories became engaging – instead of sounding only like historical lessons from the past, they revolved around how their parents’ experiences have altered their own lives as well.

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    What is Storyworthy about?

    Storyworthy (2018) explains how to craft a story for maximum impact. From intriguing beginnings to satisfying endings and everything in between, these blinks provide simple and effective tips and techniques for engaging your audience and bringing entertainment, authenticity and immediacy to your storytelling.

    Best quote from Storyworthy

    Dont get hung up on the big moments, the unbelievable circumstances, or the hilarious details. Seek out the moments when you felt your heart move.

    —Matthew Dicks
    example alt text

    Who should read Storyworthy?

    • Anyone wanting to improve their storytelling skills.
    • People looking to get better at public speaking.
    • Shy wallflowers wanting to brush up on their communication skills.

    About the Author

    Matthew Dicks is the bestselling author of novels such as Something Missing and Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend. He is also a performer and teacher. He is both a Moth StorySLAM and GrandSLAM champion.

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