Learning to Tell Stories that Matter- Noa Baum

Noa-Baum-Washington-PostIn between her book tour and her performances, Noa Baum stopped by Project CHANGE today to share her skills. Since our program believes so much in the power of narrative to help us deepen our experience of service and to turn it into memories to inspire for the rest of our lives, Noa is a wonderful member of our faculty.

A story establishes a relationship between the Listener and the Story and the Listener andTriangle the Storyteller, Noa teaches. The power of a great story is that it invites the Listener to create their own story, and to imagine the character and the plot in their own terms. A story that tells you everything does not give you room to interpret. So the gaps in a story are crucial, gaps for the listener to fill in.

Noa went on to explain that a story leaves you free to make your own meaning, in contrast to a storyNoa Baum300x265 that dictates the meaning. That kind of story is more of a sermon or even worse, propaganda. Having given a little bit of theory, it was down to practice and the team pairing up to experiment with “Listening with Curiosity and Delight” and finding a story of  your AmeriCorps year to share and craft.


“Not hearing is not as good as hearing, hearing is not as good as seeing, seeing is not as good as knowing, knowing is not as good as acting; true learning continues until it is put into action.” (Confucius)



“the quality of the story always reflects the quality of the listening”