Storyworthy: Engage, Teach, Persuade, and Change Your Life through the Power of Storytelling
A five-time Moth GrandSLAM winner and bestselling novelist shows how to tell a great story — and why doing so matters.
Whether we realize it or not, we are always telling stories. On a first date or job interview, at a sales presentation or therapy appointment, with family or friends, we are constantly narrating events and interpreting emotions and actions. In this compelling book, storyteller extraordinaire Matthew Dicks presents wonderfully straightforward and engaging tips and techniques for constructing, telling, and polishing stories that will hold the attention of your audience (no matter how big or small). He shows that anyone can learn to be an appealing storyteller, that everyone has something “storyworthy” to express, and, perhaps most important, that the act of creating and telling a tale is a powerful way of understanding and enhancing your own life.
— Nichole Bernier, author of The Unfinished Work of Elizabeth D.
“Holy moly! Matthew Dicks is right — every one of us has a story to tell. And whether onstage or on the page, this master of the craft pulls us into his world, entertaining, instructing, and inspiring with every word.”
— Susan Gregg Gilmore, author of Looking for Salvation at the Dairy Queen
“Offers countless tips, exercises, and examples to get you on your way to better stories. Anyone who wants to take the stage, become a better writer, or simply tell better stories at Thanksgiving will benefit from Storyworthy.”
— Jeff Vibes, filmmaker
“I laughed, gasped, took notes, and carried this book around like a dear friend — because that’s exactly what a storyworthy book should be. As a novelist, I’ve studied my craft in countless ways, but never before have I seen its marrow revealed with such honest, approachable charisma. Matthew Dicks has written a perceptive companion for every person who has a story to tell — and don’t we all?”
— Sarah McCoy, internationally and New York Times–bestselling author of Marilla of Green Gables and The Baker’s Daughter
“Matthew Dicks is a master storyteller and an incredible teacher. Most importantly, he is an artist who paints his verbal canvases with moments that change how his listeners see the world. Matt taught me about the hidden arc and architecture that lie behind every well-told story and I’ve incorporated his techniques into innumerable courtroom presentations — and told several stories before live audiences — all thanks to Matt.”
— Ron Apter, trial lawyer
“When I gave Matthew Dicks a recurring spot on my podcast, I billed him as ‘the most interesting man in the world.’ He really has lived quite a life. But what’s truly interesting is not necessarily what he’s experienced but how he makes you, the audience, experience it through him.”
— Mike Pesca, NPR contributor and host of Slate magazine’s daily podcast, The Gist
“Learning from Matthew Dicks has truly been life changing both for me as a public storyteller and for my high school students. Matt’s practical advice and techniques can be applied immediately, and that’s what Matt encourages and inspires you to do. Start crafting your best stories right now: learn a little about yourself in the process and begin living a life of yes.”
— Jennifer Bonaldo, English teacher, Amity High School, Bethany, Connecticut
“Matthew Dicks is not only a master storyteller; he is a master teacher. His clear and detailed instructions allow him to brilliantly give his techniques and tricks of the storytelling trade to his students. I personally benefited immensely from Matt’s workshop, and I continue to use his techniques both in my professional work as a rabbi and teacher and onstage at Moth StorySLAMs.”
— Rabbi Ira Ebbin, Congregation Ohav Sholom in Merrick, New York, and Moth StorySLAM winner
“I had the opportunity to take Matthew Dicks’s workshop for beginners and then his advanced workshop. They were truly life changing. From Matt’s instructions, I have been able to sculpt true stories that I have shared with an audience of five hundred people. I am not a professional entertainer. But because of Matt’s insightful direction, editing, and support, I now have the confidence and ability to turn my life experiences into stories that entertain and impact many people. Thank you, Matt. One doesn’t always have the opportunity to live a dream.”
— Lee Pollock, president, The Pollock Company, Hartford, Connecticut
“In Storyworthy, Matthew Dicks gives us all the tools we’ll need to become an effective storyteller, and he does so with wit, wisdom, and self-effacing charm. What’s more, he reminds us that through storytelling — and our willingness to be honest and vulnerable when sharing the different moments that have helped shape our lives — we invite the great possibility of deeper connection with others, and with ourselves. This book serves as a guidebook and a muse, rooted in the belief that our individual stories, when shared with heart, end up walking us down the pathway to true belonging. Storyworthy acts as a bright light along that journey.”
— Scott Stabile, author of Big Love: The Power of Living with a Wide-Open Heart
“Matthew Dicks is dazzling as a storyteller and equally brilliant in his ability to deconstruct this skill and make it accessible to others. His workshop was a veritable epiphany — it has been formative in my own professional career and in helping shape the work of my students. Trust me: whatever Matt has to say about storytelling, you want to hear. In my role at Yale, I oversee courses that involve more than one hundred faculty members. I can say without a doubt that Matt is one of the finest teachers I’ve ever seen.”
— David A. Ross, MD, PhD, director, Yale Psychiatry Residency Training Program