Covid stories

The third virtual session of the Young Speakers Club took place on Saturday 10 October 2020. This session was devoted to ‘storytelling’ and the theme was ‘Covid Stories’. All the members were given 10 words to craft a story using these words and then to tell their stories to the members in approximately 3 minutes in the most engaging and best way possible.

Rona Barbour, a professional public speaker, and storyteller had in an earlier meeting given a tutorial to the youngsters on how to become an effective and powerful storyteller by carefully selecting the right words and using the right techniques. The 10 words given to the youngsters were:

  • Covid
  • Hospital
  • Garden
  • Window
  • Happy
  • Nurse
  • Injection
  • Sad
  • Powerful
  • Wall

About a dozen or so short stories were told and everyone did an excellent job in thinking of their stories and then telling them to the club members. Almost everyone was able to use the 10 words given in their stories. Some of the stories were so exciting and engaging that we wanted to listen to more since the endings were left open.

Storytelling is an extremely powerful tool to communicate effectively and it’s a tool that is regularly used at the Young Speakers Club. It is generally accepted that people remember more the stories than the content of the speeches.

The youngsters were asked to write up their stories in 300-500 words and YPS will pick the best ones and use them in their furture blogs and/or publish them in the “Young Professionals” magazine.

Following is a story using the above 10 words by Malaika (17 years old):

 

It was just like any other day. There was a gentle breeze, streaks of sunlight hit the ground as mothers were happily chattering among themselves and accompanying their children to what was supposed to be an enjoyable day out. On the contrary, blanket over shoulders, I was sat in my comfortable armchair, coffee in hand, flicking through different channels on TV. Under normal circumstances, this would often end in a sigh and another trip to the fridge, but this time was quite different. An advert appeared on the screen, a young girl proceeded to talk about how she regretted not giving attention to or spending enough time with her grandpa who had recently died”. Unlike other adverts which usually cause me to have a tangent about why TV provides the exact opposite of entertainment, the powerful message reminded me of a special someone. My elderly neighbour. For years, she had been living on her own and regardless of her age, she was a very independent woman until recently when she had been admitted to hospital. As I glanced out of the window and gazed at the colourful flowers in my garden, a thought instantaneously crossed my mind. Why didn’t I take some flowers and visit my neighbour? So, I got up, grabbed a velvet ribbon, and went to my garden to select some of the freshly grown flowers. Then, gently tying a bow using the ribbon, I left my house in pursuit of the hospital. As I walked across many different roads and observed different people going about their day, I eventually approached a wall signalling the entrance of the hospital. Walking through the hospital corridors, I felt a knot tie in my stomach as I approached the COVID ward. Peering through the door, I could see my neighbour, appearing sad whilst lying down. At my sight, her once wrinkled face turned into a smile and she urged me to sit next to her. I gave her my present and delighted, she began to tell me about how no one has ever visited her since her children refused to stay in contact and she kept on repeatedly thanking me. Unfortunately, the nurse entered the room a few moments later and said I had to leave because my neighbour needed to have an injection. However, the content I felt with a single conversation with her and knowing my simple visit had made her day made me never think about adverts in the same way.      

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Posted by ypsociety