TED Talks on Storytelling

This list was created by Marilyn McPhie . She will include it as part of her upcoming workshop in San Diego in April on “How to Do a TED Talk.” This workshop is  based on her many experiences: giving a TEDx talk, presenting at a TEDx Salon, being part of a TEDx organizing committee, and attending more than a dozen TED events as a participant.  Marilyn has given this workshop before, but it will be updated in April.


Marilyn McPhie “Storytelling:  Do Try This At Home” TEDxAmericasFinestCity 1-2013


Marilyn presents the important uses of storytelling in business, health, education, and personal and family relationships.  She urges listeners to incorporate storytelling in their lives.


Norma Cameron “Cultivating Narrative Intelligence” TEDxVictoria 1-2012 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1w9lom1NNH0

Norma Cameron looks at the evolution of story. As we evolve into a global community, the skills of a storyteller — cultivating imagination, embracing listening and exercising perceptual agility — are needed more than ever before.


Karen Dietz “Through the Back Door:  Finding the Unexpected Through Story” TEDxAmericasFinestCity 11-2013  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ahN_FDHFWmg

Karen Dietz, PhD., owner of Just Story It, is based in San Diego, CA. She is a consultant, facilitator, trainer and coach working with leaders and executive teams. The focus is to cultivate and tell their most compelling stories. The goal is to unite people in pursuing dramatic new goals.  Karen’s talk focused on the power of listening.


Bill Harley “Stories Out Loud” TEDxMosesBrownSchool  5-2012 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B6NCF391SX0

Bill Harley, a Friend, storyteller, author, songwriter, teaching artist; two-time Grammy winning artist in the spoken word category; Lifetime Achievement awards from the Rhode Island Council on the Humanities, Children’s Music Network and the National Storytelling Network, talks about the power of stories.


Syd Lieberman “What’s a Story and Why Teachers Should Care” TEDxWellsStreetED 11-2013 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xJG27jnKQds

Award-winning storyteller and teacher Syd Lieberman demonstrates why story is the most effective way for teachers to share their experiences in order to build support for and understanding of their work. He shows how story touches listeners and readers, and presents a model of how to put together a story that teachers can use in writing their own pieces.


Kristin Pedemonti “No Strangers” TEDxWarsaw 5-2013 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pap6TW3y-k0
Finalist in the TEDTalks talent search, storyteller Kristin Pedemonti performs worldwide, connecting cultures through the power of story, to engender hope, joy and understanding.


Kristin Pedemonti “Release Your Inner Superhero” TEDxPhoenixville  11-2012


Once upon a time, in 2005, Kristin embarked on a journey and a new adventure. She sold her home and most of her possessions to live her dream as a full-time professional storyteller and to create/fund/facilitate a volunteer project, Literacy Outreach Belize, Central America

Kristin Pedemonti “Bringing  joy to everyday moments” TEDTalentSearch 5-2012


Storyteller Kristin Pedemonti combines theater with storytelling to create multicultural, educational and entertaining programs that build bridges between cultures.


Antonia Rocha “Transitions in Eloquence” TEDxDirigo 1-2011 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2pzwtxk23Es

Born and raised in Brazil, Antonio Rocha graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of Southern Maine with a B.A. in theater. He has studied with masters such as Tony Montanaro and Marcel Marceau. His unique blend of mime and verbal narrative has been performed in 12 countries and 6 continents.


Robert Rubenstein “Unexpected Narratives:  Empowering Students Through Storytelling” TEDxClaremontColleges 2-2014

http://tedxclaremontcolleges.com/  An acclaimed long-time storyteller and teacher of storytelling talks about the importance of storytelling with students.


Ellouise Schoettler “Your Story is Your Legacy – Shape it and Share it” TEDxBethesdaWomen 1-2014


Ellouise Schoettler knows that your story is your “one true legacy” and wants to make sure you tell yours before it’s too late. It’s important to be remembered, she says, and there’s no better way to do that than through telling your story.


Dovie Thomason TEDxLeadershipPittsburgh “Space Cadet” 11-2009 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xJG27jnKQds

Dovie Thomason talks about her grandmother, her father, star stories and working with NASA.


Donald Davis “How the Story Transforms the Teller”  TEDxCharlottesville 12-2014 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wgeh4xhSA2Q&t=117s  Renowned storyteller Donald Davis tells how he became a storyteller and how people can find the stories in their lives that are most important.


Judith Black “Storytelling and Climate”  TEDxBerkshires  9- 2016 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4nMAV8xFUMg&list=PLsRNoUx8w3rPTJL9ZY04lnnwbdmiydW1W&index=21  How to enhance and effect change in our lives and the world around us through telling stories. Judith Black begins with the story of “A Drop of Honey” and then uses some hard facts to get her message across.


Simon Heywood “Searching for a Great Storyteller”  TEDxUniversityofReading  6-2015 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ts9JpM0gHMU   Storyteller, composer, and scholar Simon Heywood talks about the tradition of Jewish hereditary female storytellers and the value of context for effective stories.


Dottie Kluttz “Stories Are Our Roots”  TEDxCreativeCoast 6-2014 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pAng9aXl_WU A nurse and a storyteller in the Organizational Storytelling movement, Dottie tells about collecting stories from four ordinary people who have done extraordinary things.


J’miah Nabawi “Julio’s Bridge to the Land of Make-Believe”  TEDxSavannah 6-17 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=di_7OURefuE Recipient of a National Storytelling Network Oracle Award, J’miah tells of Julio, a member of the Lenca people, who vows to keep traditional stories alive by

telling them in the high-spirited manner in which they were told to him by elders.  J’miah encourages this high-spirited, interactive storytelling as a bridge of imagination.


Jan Blake ”A Story, A Story!  Let It Come, Let It Go!”  TEDxWarsaw 6-2014 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7MgpAG2sobk   English storyteller of African descent, Jan Blake tells about how and why she became a storyteller and the important functions of storytelling.  Storytelling is fundamentally to embrace “the other” and to make all tellers and listeners acceptable.


Jan Blake  “The Fisherman:  A Tale of Passion, Loss and Hope”  TEDxManchester 3-2016 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IAV6eXaS6dk Through the telling of a traditional folktale, Jan Blake demonstrates that whilst the world may have changed irrefutably over the last one hundred years, our hopes, dreams, and passions have not and that traditional folktales are just as relevant and as capable as the latest blockbuster or art house movie, of guiding us to a reflection on what it means to human.


Vanessa Woolf  “How to Find Magic”  TEDxStormontWomen  11-2017 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GTSyJIYGQ0A From Jack and the Beanstalk to the Aboriginal Dreamtime, from the Greek Gods to Harry Potter, human beings love stories about magic. But sometimes we feel that a sense of wonder and enchantment is missing from our everyday lives. Vanessa explains how can we reconnect with that sense of magic and use it to transform the way we relate to the world we live in


Amy Oestreicher  “How to Turn Trauma into a Warrior’s Adventure” TEDxVCU 7-2017

https://youtu.be/HtmqAcWx7I8 Amy applies traumatic experience with sexual abuse and extraordinary medical challenges to Joseph Campbell’s hero’s journey.  This talk explains how we can use the archetypal hero’s journey to find the excitement in healing from trauma, or plunging into any darkness in our lives, with a newfound sense of home, and a gift to give society. It concrete calls to action for finding your own hero’s journey, with personal anecdotes, charts, and photos of beautiful original mixed media art.


Sahand Sahebdivani & Raphael Rodan  “Stories Overcome Differences”  TEDxDenHelder 2-2017

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4jI9I9ew_9Q&feature=youtu.be At what age do we become conscious of which group we belong to? And how does this process even work? See how an Israeli and an Iranian overcame their differences and help others to overcome theirs.


Jonah Willihnganz “Telling Stories” TEDxStanford 6-15 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7khvlZj4pAA Director of the Stanford Storytelling Project, Jonah Willihnganz, shares the power of story to transform both the teller and the listener. He invites us all to use our stories to change our lives.


Deepa Kiran “Role of Storytelling In Our Lives”   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S-cjfe5Te-c


Deepa Kiran “The Magic Of Listening To Stories”  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XXwlKaiwUyM


Noa Baum “Beyond Labels – Bridging Differences Through Storytelling”  TEDxWilmingtonSalon 12-2017 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vsg7VTUjYLI&t=5s


Doug Lipman “What Can Storytelling Teach Us About Creating Connection”  TEDxWilmingtonSalon 12-2017  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i4S40nn4SdQ


Charlotte Blake Alston “EHSOTI:  Standing on Tradition”  TEDxWilmingtonSalon 12-2017 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZDa1giUw9EA


Leana Wen, MD. “Turning Fear Inside Out” – TEDxFoggyBottom https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W6z18y2IP6k

Published on May 3, 2014

Dr. Leana Wen is a Harvard-trained E.R. doctor, Rhodes Scholar, professor, and best-selling author. In this “coming out” talk, she draws upon her research on sickness and crisis to ask if we would want to end fear.


TED Talks


Carmen Deedy “Spinning A Story of Mama” TED  9-16-08 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uKabYHpXlDw  Storyteller Carmen Agra Deedy spins a funny, wise and luminous tale of parents and kids, starring her Cuban mother. Settle in and enjoy the ride — Mama’s driving!


David Holt “Stories and Songs of Appalachia” TED  12-9-08 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EZeVtfQ7bpI

Folk musician and storyteller David Holt plays the banjo and shares photographs and old wisdom from the Appalachian Mountains. He also demonstrates some unusual instruments like the mouth bow — and a surprising electric drum kit he calls “thunderwear.”


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