10 Lessons from The Art of Storytelling by John D. Walsh

3 min readJan 20, 2021


In The Art of Storytelling, John Walsh takes us through the steps to presenting a compelling story — outlining the strategies that helped him move from stutterer to storyteller. This book will help any person with a story to share by walking you through all aspects of presentation . . . from what to do with your hands as you speak all the way to crafting a killer ending.

Whether you’re telling bedtime stories to your children or Bible stories to a congregation, or trying to drive social engagement, this book will take your storytelling to a new level.

In this book, one can glean the following ten (10) lessons:

1. Those who successfully present a story have taken time to successfully prepare a story. Preparation is key to presenting. Prepare. A great story is prepared for.

2. Looking beyond the substantive lessons from John, one cannot ignore the thickness of his knack for self development. John Walsh moved from stutter to story teller. Yes, he had some divine instructions but he didn’t relax. He made moves to work on himself. That’s laudable.

3. Keeping memories. Walsh takes some time to explain why one needs to jot down ideas. You will forget. It is said that the faintest ink is better than the sharpest memory. Learning how to write down ideas would help you as a social entrepreneur even beyond Storytelling and communications. It is a good habit for life.

4. Know how your story ends. John D. Walsh encourages storytellers to envisage the end of the story. Telling a story at the spur of the moment can make you flop, unless you’re now a pro. This drives home again the point about preparation.

5. Research!

How would you feel when in the middle of your story someone says “oh hey, you didn’t get that fact right. It’s actually ABC, not XYZ”? Wawuuu. In order to avoid some embarrassment from people who have knowledge of that area, do well to research properly.

6. Promote Audience Participation. This works all the time. No one wants to be inactive, listening to you boring talk all day. People get the be more interested in you or what you have to say when they’re carried along.

7. Envision the scene with contemporary issues. Speaking of Shakespearean time in the 21st century would make people throw you out of the window. This means that you should be current concerning trending or contemporary issues.

8. Your vocabulary matters. Recognise when you’re speaking to kids and talk accordingly. Same applies to church. Using curse words to a church congregation makes you lose their attention easily.

9. Eliminate needless details. Adding so much details which are not useful would make you lose your audience sooner than you expected to. Keep it short, simple and hawt 🔥.

10. John goes technical when he talks about telling the story from the view of someone in the scene. This makes you also drag your audience into the scene as well. They get to wear the shoes of your story characters and follow through. You have their attention.

We hope this was helpful. If you haven’t read the book, do well to read it.