What people have said about workshops
In-person workshops – participants have said:
Free and fluent speaking through storytelling – feedback from the 61 participants of a 7-hour workshop (Masters students, PH Karlsruhe, Nov. 2022)
After a three-hour Telling the listener workshop in Singapore, 2022
What were your key takeaways from the training? What will you implement?
- Approaches on how to tell stories
- How to tell a story that has soul
- The style of telling and handling hiccups
- Story arc and repetition
- Tell the listener. How to craft a story from a skeleton.
- First the skeleton, then add your own words and if you forget something crucial, there’s always a way to get back.
- Storytelling is an art form. Continued commitment.
- I want to try out the stories and ensure there is an arc
- Making a story your own. Crafting an outline
- Discussion with friends to dissect a story
- Connecting with audience. Style of telling it with sounds.
- Non-stop talking icebreaker. Character first.
- How a small gesture can change the story for the audience
- I will implement the improvisation techniques.
After two 1.5-day workshops in South Tyrol, 2016
Sehr, sehr tolle Veranstaltung
Nur weiter zu empfehlen
So much fun
Sehr unterhaltsam und hilfreich
Auch für Oberstufe zu empfehlen!
After a workshop at Saarland University Teachers’ Day, 2014
I am really interested in the storyteller inside of me now! Had great fun!
After a one-day workshop at Gothenburg University, Sweden, 2011
The Head of a school reported her colleague’s comment:
Mattias said it was the most inspiring study day he has ever attended and that never, during teacher-training program, which he recently completed, had he learned so much in one day.
Feedback after two workshops in Bangalore and Chennai, India, 2010
We could really be confident.
Gave a different perspective to storytelling and made me realise that we as adults can enjoy are hear stories (jaws dropped) which was long ago forgotten […] It was a wonderful experience. Love to see you again in Bangalore!
We were given plenty of opportunities to try out the skill/method immediately. This practical aspect helped me clarify my doubts and also got valuable input from other participants.
Hands-on tips for grabbing the attention of the children while narrating a story.
The aspect that stories can be told in so many different ways without being judged […] Loved the course!
Tips to use the resource in the classroom […] Will go back and tell all the teachers in my school. […] You’re making a difference in the lives of students the world over.
Workshop will help me to become a confident storyteller.
The examples provided were valuable. Using different types of stories was great. Content of handout is very helpful.
We were subtly exposed to different methodologies of storytelling.
Wonderful event, I’m happy to have been part of it.
The way it was presented – and often leaving the children to understand and not dominating their ideas and understanding of the stories.
Photos of the Indian workshops
After a one-day workshop at Hamburg University, 2010
Yesterday in the seminar we discussed your workshop – the students were, without exception, absolutely delighted. Many said how they had already told some of your stories to friends, partners, children.
Thanks so much again for the inspiring and rewarding workshop. In the words of one student: “In the morning I started in a pretty bad mood because this was the third weekend in a row I’d had to come in for something at the university – but that mood didn’t last long! Normally the time drags in a seminar, with Richard the time passed so quickly.
As for negative comments, there were none. Then came a few isolated and very minor suggestions, but these were more a matter of individual taste. One student would have liked to know more about you as a person, another would have liked an initial survey of what the workshop would cover (in fact, you did give that, but she would have preferred it a touch more specific). A few would have liked you to reallocate the groups in the second half – although just as many were against that.
One suggestion, not so much a criticism as a wish, was that it would have been interesting to see a second storyteller in action on film. Perhaps you could give a tip for that?
Several wanted to discuss the aspect of the “moral” of the story. Does there need to be one? Should it be brought out? Etc. This is certainly a topic which would have required more time in the workshop.
Which leads to the only real point of criticism: the workshop should have lasted two days rather than just one!
As you can see, your workshop was perfect. One aspect which was highly praised – also from the teachers who took part – was your sensitivity towards the participants’ initial anxieties, which you overcame by the structuring of the partner and small group activities.
Dr. Maike Reichart-Wallrabenstein
Testimonial after two workshops for the UK Society for Storytelling Gathering, 2008
On behalf of the Society for Storytelling and organiser of our Gathering, I would like to thank you for leading two workshops. Without exception everyone I have spoken with who attended used Brilliant, Excellent, Superb. to describe their experience.
As you know I attended one of them and wholeheartedly agree with all of the above. The workshop was well crafted, adjusted for the group and delivered that which was promised, not so common these days, so a personal thank-you from me.
Alan Woollard (SfS Director)
Evaluation of a three-day block seminar at the Pädagogische Hochschule Karlsruhe, 2008
This is how the participants assessed the course on a scale of 1 to 5
- How interesting was this workshop?
Very interesting (1) – Not interesting (5) 1.18
- How would you rate the course content?
Excellent (1) – Very poor (5) 1.36
- The training enhanced my existing skills.
Strongly agree (1) – Strongly disagree (5) 1.36
- The course material was clear and easy to understand.
Strongly agree (1) – Strongly disagree (5) 1.18
- The course was conducted at a reasonable pace (i.e. 3 is good)
Much too fast (1) – Much too slow (5) 2.9
- The presenter was an effective communicator.
Strongly agree (1) – Strongly disagree (5) 1.0
- The presenter had a good understanding of the content.
Strongly agree (1) – Strongly disagree (5) 1.0
- The presenter relayed information easily by using helpful examples, stories & demonstrations.
Strongly agree (1) – Strongly disagree (5) 1.0
- The presenter gave enough opportunity for feedback, discussion & answering questions.
Strongly agree 81) – Strongly disagree (5) 1.0
- Overall, how would you rate this course? (Comment?)
Excellent (1) – Very poor (5) 1.1
What aspects of the course did you find most valuable?
- Demonstrations of telling stories by Mr Martin – good example.
Personal speaking practice.
Methodology of how to use storytelling in the class.
- I liked it that the groups changed frequently and that the presenter told us a variety of stories.
- The many practical phases, the extremely comfortable atmosphere, the presenter! the stories, the mixed groups – chance to get to know the rest of the group.
- For met he most valuable aspects were the ones about how one tells a story (using a skeleton). I personally would not have believed that I could tell a story from that! Also the methods for primary school were important for me!
- The practical part, atmosphere, Mr Wiggle and Mr Waggle was so nice. You are a good storyteller – I learnt a lot about storytelling.
- Friendly atmosphere, practice (working with a story and telling a new partner who doesn’t know the story) and listening to your stories.
- Demonstrations of telling stories by Mr Martin – good example.
Any other comments?
- I feel more self-confident in standing in front of other people and in telling a story with authority.
- This course was amazing! Thank you so much!
- The course really improved my storytelling skills. I also recognised that I’m more open to group work with “strangers” than I was before the course. Additionally, I feel more confident with speaking English. Besides, I’m more spontaneous with inventing stories.
- Thanks you very much! I loved the workshop! The participation periods were great! We all could be active! There wasn’t a dull moment! Thanks!
- It was very nice to see Mr Martin “perform” / tell his stories because we could all see what is actually possible to do with stories – and to see how much we can still improve.
An e-mail received after a three-hour workshop in Bavaria in 2007
I attended your storytelling workshop last weekend in Dillingen. It was a fantastic workshop even if it was the condensed version.
I tried out Mr Wiggle and Mr Waggle today with the 3rd graders. It was great!! The kids loved it.
One said he will try and repeat the story to us on Wednesday. Let’s see what happens.
I incorporated the “hot seat” too. After the story, we listed questions on the board that they can already ask in English and alternately kids came forward, sat on the “hot seat” and answered a question thrown at them. It worked well.
I hope to use the “hot seat” more and more – a great way to get them to talk and create their own sentences.
Thanks again! I gained a lot from your workshop.
An e-mail received after a one-day workshop at Koblenz University, 2008
Thank you, Richard,
it was amazing!! I enjoyed every second in this workshop. Even if my English isn’t as good as it should be I got some things out of the workshop at the University of Koblenz that made me to be a better person, kept me on going and made me feel important and good for all the children, who are supposed to learn from me in the future.
An e-mail received after a one-day workshop for trainee teachers in 2006
I attended your seminar in Cologne last Saturday (I played Jack…), and I thought I’d give you a short feedback.
First of all, I liked your seminar very much. It gave me many good ideas of what to do with stories in the classroom.
The second thing I want to mention is, that I tried the Mr Fox story with my class 6 today. I was quite astonished how much I could forget myself and tell them the story really in an authentic way. Besides, I’ve never seen my students so quiet and concentrated for 20 min!
I asked them later, and they said that they really liked the story, me telling them and the activity with the hot seat later.
Thank you for all these good ideas!
Comments after a three-day secondary school workshop for Longman Pearson in Hong Kong, 2008
He is a funny, encourageous (sic), kind teacher. When he is telling a story, he can attract me to listen to the story and not make me feel sleepy.
The whole workshop was wonderful and the storyteller made it an exciting time and told great stories for us.
He is a great storyteller. His stories were very funny and interesting. I learnt how to tell a story from him.
Very funny and he has many facial expressions. I wonder where the stories come from.
He is very nice and friendly. I love to listen to the stories from him.
Mr Martin is a great storyteller. I bet he can come again.
Very, very, very good!
Samples of feedback from a two-day National Book Development Council of Singapore workshop, 2005
The best thing about this course has been:
“The opportunity to practise storytelling in a non-threatening environment. Richard took the time to ease us into the practical portion by having us participate in a few short activities that helped to build our confidence and make us feel comfortable with the other participants.”
“Techniques and skills of storytelling. Mastery of voice, movement, body language, facial gestures. Eye contact, audience participation, classroom management for storytelling. Developing language awareness, pedagogical principles, fun and playful elements. Important rules for storytelling.
“Plenty of opportunity for hands-on activities and ample time to reflect on them.
“It’s been rejuvenating. I had fun and enjoyed myself. I found out I could do things I never knew I could do. I’ve begun to question if I couldn’t be a more interesting and forgiving teacher.
“Listening to great stories by you (again and again). Finding myself in front of others, while still trying to figure out what my first line was to be … well, I just started to say “Once upon a time” and then…!
Now I’m convinced that I can tell stories – finally believing that I can do it.
Thank you, Richard
The worst thing about this course has been:
“I can’t think of anything negative to say. Even though being pulled in to participate through the two days could have been stressful, it was thoroughly enjoyable and purposeful.
“The workshop ended!
I’d also like to say:
“Richard Martin – inspirational! One of the best for storytelling. Mesmerising. Educational! Totally enjoyable to listen to him.
THANK YOU SO MUCH!
“Thank you very much for helping me grow. I don’t know how I’ve grown yet, but I know that I have.
“My deepest gratitude to Richard for building my confidence in storytelling.
Not only has this course empowered my profession as a teacher, this great course has made me believe.
Believe in myself. Believe in myself that I could also be a storyteller, too.
“The storytelling skills should really be learnt by all teachers.
“I’ve learnt a great deal about how voice modulation / body language and pace can make storytelling more successful.
After a half-day workshop at Qionan Primary School, Singapore in March 2005
The Headmistress collated the answers to the five questions on my feedback form and sent me this:
I think attending this workshop will help my teaching:
- YES – 16
- NO – 0
The best thing about this course has been:
- The stories are very interesting and engaging.
- The different ways in which I can adopt to make my teaching more interesting.
- High level of energy in all the activities.
- The activities and practices.
- The use of voice, body language.
- The great ways to tell a story.
- It makes teaching fun.
- I have learnt the techniques of telling a story.
- Active participation and fun, interesting hands-on.
- The story teller himself! It was worth an afternoon!
- Hands-on session. Pupil participation.
- It’s fun and engaging!
- Fun and interactive.
- Techniques of story telling.
The worst thing has been:
- It should be a full day course.
- The session is too long after a hard day’s work.
- Telling my partner the story.
- The duration (but it was well worth it!.
What the course leader should have done:
- Well done.
- You’ve done it all!
- Stories which can sustain the interest of Upper Primary pupils.
- Tell more stories.
- No comments, he was GREAT!
I should also like to say:
- I will depend [sic] use the strategies you have shared with us.
- It was an afternoon worth waiting for.
- A wonderfully fabulous course – the best I’ve had ever. thanks for all the inspirations!
- Thank you so much for making the session an enjoyable one.
- Very good indeed.
- Thank you so much. I’ve learnt a lot!!
- The speaker has been excellent in conducting the course. It was very interesting and would definitely help me in my teaching.
- It is great and fantastic.
- Well Done Richard! Keep it up!
- Such a Right Person for a workshop.
- The session was enjoyable.
- I’m inspired to be a better / the best storyteller.
- Very fun and enriching.
After a workshop at LISA, Halle, 2004
That was the best workshop I’ve ever attended. Thanks!
(Two participants at the end of the workshop.)
After a workshop at Koblenz University, 2003
I attended two of your workshops (Boppard and Koblenz) and feel like having been given presents by what you taught to us.
I could feel your respect for your audience as well as for the stories that you told with great ease.
Thank you very much.
After a workshop at Gießen University, 2001
I just wanted to tell you that I really enjoyed the 1.5 hours with you this afternoon at the JLU in Gießen. Teachers like you are the reason I want to become one myself. I really hope I will you meet/see you again one day.
With best regards,
After a workshop at Munich University, 2000
I was using storytelling in the classroom for the first time today. I very much enjoyed your workshop here in Munich …
The class did appreciate the stories that I told them. It was a 6th class, very bright and nice. Rather lively, but that was good!
I told them The Strongest of Them All the way you do it on the video and then let them recapitulate the elements so we had the skeleton on the board by the middle of the session.
Then I let them act out the whole story again. Just by themselves with the help of the board and some advice from me (very little though)…
When they sat down, we had some applause for the players and I asked them whether they wanted me to tell them another tale. Well, you guessed the reply to that rhetorical question, didn’t you? …
Thanks for being such an amazing teacher!
Christoph Habich, Trainee teacher
Organisers have said
After my third workshop at Koblenz University
Thank you very much indeed for another VERY enjoyable workshop, yes!!!
Each time you do one here I think at some point during the day “Richard has always been so very good, but today this is absolutely IT”, the curious thing being that I think that each time. But this last one was so perfect it was unbelievable.
I saw some glowing faces today (still!!! 🙂 of participants and heard the warmest praises – some said they want to come back next time even if you do exactly the same thing.
You really know how to hold an audience, and that for such a long time. Hats off once more!
Dr. Isabel Martin (no relation!)
After the fourth, Isabel wrote:
Thanks again for the wonderful day – the students really enjoyed it a lot (as ALWAYS!) and I noticed that I can STILL learn new things from you although I must have seen you perform the same stories 4 or 5 times now.
It is really very interesting to notice more and more details and to think – ah… THIS is how he did it…! 🙂
After a workshop in North-Rhine Westphalia
Thank you very much for the wonderful day you spent with us.
Your Storytelling Seminar was absolutely perfect and the way you teach and tell your stories made all of us wish to be able to do it ourselves. Within no time, participants of different ages and levels were working together in great harmony, longing to experience storytelling techniques and to learn from each other.
I’ll surely remember the Glows and Grows as an easy way to say what is necessary without getting to close to someone’s feelings.
After a workshop at LISA, the state teacher-training institute of Saxony-Anhalt
I want to say thank you so much not only for the 3-day workshop you offered teachers in Saxony-Anhalt but also for your very uncomplicated way of arranging everything before and during the workshop.
All the participants gave a very positive feedback. The atmosphere during our workshop was very relaxed and hilarious. Watching, observing and listening to you telling stories has been an unforgettable experience.
(I know that you don’t want to hear it because of your wife but:) We kept stuck to your lips while you were telling stories.
You use very fine methods to teach and encourage us teachers to tell stories ourselves. The work and feedback in small groups is a good way to overcome our inhibitions.
Another positive effect of your work was that all the participants spoke English (spontaneously) throughout the 3 days of the workshop.
Furthermore it was very useful that you have shared your own teaching experience at your school in Darmstadt with us.
I wish you could come again and refresh our knowledge and abilities of telling stories.
After a workshop at Köln University
Thank you ever so much for the workshop you offered the students and our staff members. Some students have felt encouraged to present a couple of stories in today’s seminars. Their feedback was tremendously positive and they have started developing a feeling for telling stories themselves thereby enhancing the pupils’ language learning process.
Such a workshop is worth inserting in our seminar programme in due time again.
Dr. Petra Bosenius
After two vhs workshops in Bremerhaven and Hanover
You managed to create a stimulating working atmosphere from the very beginning … very positive feedback from the participants.
Susanne Weis, Fachbereichsleiterin, vhs Bremerhaven
Details of previous workshops in Germany, Italy, England, Hong Kong, Singapore, India and the USA
Downloadable workshop details in Chinese (2-page pdf)
Go here for tales to watch
Go here for a list of all tales included on this site
Go here to receive an e-mail notification when new tales are added
Permission to tell outlines my views on copyright
For those who are teachers: Telling stories in the classroom: basing language teaching on storytelling