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Tom Ware - Master Storyteller

Updated on December 14, 2012

The Raconteur at sixty.

People love a good story

A few years back I wrote a little book - title: The Raconteur – Speaking to Entertain. Sometime later I Googled the word raconteur and what did I get: the name of a pop band in the U.K., I think it was; a music group. Not another mention of the word anywhere. Today, I Googled it again and at least got a few references, including one in Wikipedia. Has this word faded into oblivion? Do people no longer know what it means? Certainly it is not commonly used. In fact, in all the years I’ve been telling stories, I’ve only been called a by that title twice.

A teller of stories.

When I was younger I used to think that such a word was applicable only to very sophisticated after-dinner speakers, those who could have an audience “eating out of their hands” as they told amusing jokes. I’m talking of the quick-witted, masters of the riposte. It was not until an elderly lady in one of my audiences said to me, “Tom, you are a real teller of tales. It’s a gift that’s dying out you know. You are a true raconteur.”

Stories, people can't get enough of them.

Tom's a storyteller. Yes, a teller of tales.

Well… I was surprised, flattered. It’s funny how we can sometimes get an idea in our head, an entirely incorrect idea, and it can stay with us, influencing us; determining the way we think about ourselves for a greater part of our lives. A chance remark, not even directed at oneself but perhaps overheard in conversation, can make or break our confidence.

Another of Tom's audiences

"Yes, Tom Ware is a story teller."

“Yes, Tom’s a story teller.” A chance remark made by one of my Toastmaster friends to another way back in the 1980s changed the way I thought about my speaking. It was then, and only then, that the proverbial ‘penny dropped.’ Yes, I guess that’s what I am. Most of my presentation involve story of some sort. Yes, I was -and still am - a raconteur.

My forte' is storytelling.

I’d been into public speaking for around ten years before that chance remark by a fellow Toastmaster made it clear to me that my forte’ is storytelling. I’d been to no fewer than three different evening colleges to learn public speaking, belonged to four different speaking clubs in both Rostrum Clubs of NSW and Toastmasters’ International, and yet had never had this clarified to me until my Toastmaster friend happened to say those few words.

Tell people stories and tell them well. They'll invite you back.

Yours truly as a story teller.
Yours truly as a story teller.

It helps to see ourselves as other see us.

I guess the message in all of this is that we really do need to at least try to see ourselves as others see us. By doing so we can save ourselves an awful lot of angst. Even better, by finding out what others think of our abilities we might actually find our true calling.

I hope you enjoyed reading Tom Ware – Master Storyteller.


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