Creativity is an essential quality for a leader. A leader must be creative to see future possibilities, make things come real which were once only ideas, and think of ways to solve problems.
Photo Credit: Mike Beauregard
While reading the book, Creative Teaching Methods, author Marle LeFever provided a list of ways to be more creative and tell better stories. Even though the book focused on creativity within Bible teaching, I think these 10 principles can be applied by any leader.
10 Easy and Essential Ways to Be More Creative and Tell Better Stories
1. The creative process of a teacher starts with preparation (pp. 23-25).
Preparation is the ground work that a teacher does to become an effective teacher. This ground work includes learning how to study the Bible, lead group discussions, and use audio/visual tools.
2. The second step in the creative process is incubation (p. 26).
This is what happens when a teacher has spent time thinking about what will be taught, then takes a break from what was created in order for the ideas to sit and “incubate” in the teacher’s subconscious mind.
3. After incubation, illumination is the next step in the creative process (pp. 26-27).
This occurs when a teacher has allowed his ideas to sit for a while and then returns to thinking about the topic or subject which will be taught. Illumination often occurs because the subconscious mind has had time to think and create ideas for solutions.
4. The fourth step in the creative process is elaboration (pp. 27-28).
This is the part where the teacher takes time to write out more thoughts on the teaching idea, to expand it, and to complete his thinking for the teaching.
5. The final step in the creative process is verification (p. 28).
In this step the teacher looks over what he has created (before anyone else has looked at it). He might evaluate it, critique it, improve it, or change it.
6. When reading and telling stories the first step for the teacher is to begin to read himself (pp. 173-175).
Because some people might know the Bible very well it is easy for them to forget to simply read the Bible stories. In order to tell good stories it is good to read the stories aloud from a good modern translation or a paraphrase.
7. The second part of reading and telling good stories is to record your voice as you read/tell a story (p. 175).
This will help the teacher realize what he does and does not do well when reading stories. As a result, a teacher might realize he was more of a monotone voice than he thought or he might realize he is not speaking loud enough.
8. When reading and telling stories it is also important to remember eye contact (p. 175).
The teacher must be familiar enough with the story in order to glance up and look at the participants. If a teacher is telling a story it will probably be easier to maintain good eye contact than it would be if a teacher is reading a story.
9. The fourth element of reading and telling stories is allowing the facial expressing of the teacher to convey part of the message (p. 175).
Recently a presentation was given which opened with a video clip of war scenes, murders, and other disturbing images which were supposed to convey “human depravity” in the world. However, when the clip was completed the teacher walked to the podium with a smile on his face. A member in this audience would would surely wonder, “What are you smiling about?”
10. The final element of good story reading and telling is for the teacher to use his voice in order to reflect the emotions of the story (p. 175).
A teacher must use the fear, pain, happiness, and joy of the characters in the story as a way to communicate what the characters were feeling.
Question: What tips do you have for being more creative and telling more stories as a leader?