Episode 112

How Immersion Benefits You As A Storyteller

It’s 2015, and I’m ready to take the next leap. I’ve been working with speakers one-on-one for a while and want to try my hand at hosting my own event.

Except, I’ve never done this before, and if I do it… will anyone even come to it? How long should it be? What content should I cover? And what about the whole performance aspect of speaking?

These are the questions going through my mind when I realize that I need to ask my Improv mentor, Alan Irwin, to join me in co-hosting this event. So I reach out to him:

“Hey, Alan. Want to play? This is what I’m thinking. What do you think?”

He loves the idea and soon we’re planning all the details for our dream speaker power event on napkins and Sticky notes.

On June 12th 2015, we host our very first live event and haven’t stopped since.

And today, I’ve invited my event co-hosting partner in crime back on the Storytelling School Podcast. He and I have gained many insights and fielded many questions after years of running these events.

So in this episode, we talk about how these workshops help you, as a speaker or storyteller, effectively express your message to an audience. We touch on developing and refining your ideas on your terms, including humor in your speech, and overcoming fear related to public speaking by answering questions like:

How can you effectively dig deep into exploring the ideas and stories you want to share with an audience? What’s the formula for adding humor to your Talk, and how does humor benefit you as the speaker or storyteller? How can you work on the fear you feel when telling a story or sharing your ideas in a presentation? And how does Improv influence you as a communicator or storyteller?

What you will learn in this episode:

  • How immersion helps you embody your stories and ideas
  • What approach to take if you want to incorporate humor into your speech
  • How to take on a character when you’re afraid of giving a Talk or sharing your story

Who is Alan Irwin?

Storytelling has played a role in both of Alan Irwin’s careers in different ways. He recently retired from a career spent in the infrared industry as a senior software engineer by day. However, he stumbled into Improvisational Comedy in his 30s and by night has performed it for over 30 years, while also spending most of that time teaching Improv.

Improvisation has transformed Alan’s teaching. His secret weapon lies in his penchant for making complex subjects accessible and fun. It has served him well worldwide in speaking engagements on a wide range of other topics, from robotics to crisis intervention (including suicide prevention). He’s taken on the task of communicating very complex ideas to others in tech (and his interests, like geek culture and cheesemaking).

Want to take your storytelling skills to the next level?

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I want to stand out!

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2-time TEDx Speaker, Author, Coach, and Founder of the Uncivilized Movement

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Greg Smith

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Than Baardson

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Cathy Sommerville

TEDx Speaker, Coach, Advisor, Leader, Author, Vice President


I'm ready to stand out!