The Dandelion Group
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Technique of the week

A tale of two

Narrators do not have to perform a monologue. You can make your stories even more dynamic and real with the help of a Russian technique.

The Bakhtin circle perfected what greek philosophers had practiced for centuries: dialogism. Instead of describing events from the narrator’s point of view, you present a conversation between two or more people. You find this technique on stage as well as in books and movies. If you follow American politics, you might have been baffled by Clint Eastwood’s “empty chair”-speech at the Republican National Convention in 2012. Tales and movies vary indirect and direct speech to engage.

How to use dialogism

  1. Describe an event in around 90 seconds.

  2. Cut the clutter. Identify the key message and main characters.

  3. Tell the story again but include a short conversation. Slightly change your position (and voice) to make it easier for the audience to follow.

Exercise

Austria got a new prime minister. 100 years after the adoption of women's suffrage, the republic appointed its first female chancellor. Tell a story about a feminist breakthrough in your country, using dialogism.

Learn the techniques. Boost your confidence. Make your point.
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Ben WilhelmComment