Q&A with Susan Luke (Question 2):
Q: How did you initially become involved with story/storytelling/narrative? What attracted you to this field? What do you love about it?
A: I have been around stories and storytelling all my life. My father was a minister and used stories in all his sermons, both Biblical and personal. My mother told stories on the radio before I was born and has always used stories in the many speaking opportunities she has had over the years, from teaching to speaking at large national meetings. So, for me it was a natural way to communicate.
Starting my career as a teacher (I’ve taught at all levels, K-college), I used stories to help my students understand various concepts and events. As a CEO of a technical services organization, I needed to make presentations to a variety of boards and executive teams to sell my product. Using success stories helped me to do that beyond my wildest expectations.
As a speaker, trainer, coach, and consultant, stories continue to be part of how I relate to my clients and audiences. In fact, it was through a client request that I began to focus on helping others to use story/storytelling as a leadership/communication tool. I had never consciously done that before. That happened about 6-7 years ago, and it was the most natural evolution of my continually changing career path ever.
I love being involved with people and everyone has stories they share. Identifying, creating, and sharing them are what makes us who we are, as individuals and as communities. Focusing on the concept of story, how to use stories strategically as well as tactically, while helping others do the same is my passion!