Category: Storytelling

Feedback to a told story

Feedback to a told story

  1. Tell a story. Tell a story to one listener, max. 5 minute. The purpose is to get feedback. It could be any kind of story, fairytale, personal, business, a story you have created yourself.
  2. The clearest image in the story told. The listener gives feedback by telling the storyteller what the clearest image that the listener saw during the telling. By doing that, it shows that the story had an impact on the listener. It is a positive way of starting the feedback, it tells that the storyteller had created a bond between the storyteller and the listener.
  3. Way it was told. Say something positive about the way the story was told. Make the feedback specific, was it the voice? the use of the hands? the sparkling eyes? What was it, that the storyteller did well?
  4. What was the story about? The listener tell what the listener heard the story was about, what was the theme of the story? A lot of storytelling feedback doesn´t work, because the listener and the teller think that they heard and understood the same thing, when the storyteller told the story. There are always two ways a story is heard: The way the storyteller thinks the listener should hear it and the way the listener actually hears it.
  5.  What now? Conversation: What now? What does this means for the storytellers work with the story?

An edited version of the book Tell a Story – Create Interaction is due to be published October 2019. Stay tuned!

Storytelling Workshop

Storytelling Workshop

The Italian Nobel Prize winner Dario Fo once said, ‘the audience is your conductor, and you are the orchestra.’

Let Svend-Erik Engh guide you to find an authentic way of telling using your body and voice, focusing on how storytellers have to respond to audiences so they feel your presence as a storyteller.

For intermediate and experienced storytellers.

Book here

Vikings! Games, Myths and Stories

Vikings! Games, Myths and Stories

I was at The Vikingshipsmuseum in Roskilde, Denmark to be inspired for our performance Walk the Oars

Four major achievements:

  1. It was possible for the Vikings to board the ship from the sea. It is a major part of the performance Walk the Oars, so it was good to see it with my own eyes: Our Viking hero could climp into the ship from the fjord.
  2. The danish Vikings also came to The Shetlands.
  3. The people of Vikingshipsmuseum did not know abut Walking the oars. They would go searching for evidence.
  4. I started a conversation with the people of the Vikingshipsmuseum, so Neil Sutcliffe and I could visit Roskilde sometimes in 2019.


Springboard Stories in Agile

Springboard Stories in Agile

Storytelling in Agile!

A very intense and constructive workshop yesterday with strong reflections on how to use the Springboard Story concept in Agile settings.


The first question was to find the personal springboard story. What story made you go Agile? When you start with a personal question and let

people talk about their own life, something happens in the room. The intensity and the concentrate listening was joyful and full of new knowledge given and taken.  for more on the importance of personal stories:




The second question was to find a Springboard Story for your working life.

  1. What is the change idea? Reachable, desirable and concrete.
  2. Tell a story where this change idea is already happening. The past shows the ways of the future.
  3. Link it to the present – “Imagine if …”

See Steve Denning´s template:


The third question was to give examples of a way to make the client tell stories when you meet them.

Springbræt til forandring

Springbræt til forandring

Der er mange forklaringer på, hvorfor forandringer går galt. Ofte er det ikke på grund af manglende engagement hos medarbejderne, men fordi de ikke kan identificere sig med forandringerne. En god historie er med til at skabe identitet og fællesskabsfølelse i organisationen – og sætter ord på det, der skal ændres. Læs her hvordan du skaber en god historie, som gør jeres forandringer tydelige og meningsfulde.

Artikel i Væksthus for Ledelse


Double Presence

Double Presence

While you are telling your story, you must be aware of the reactions from your listeners. 

Historier under Bøgen, storytelling in Kings Garden, Copenhagen, 2009.

I am at the 2002 Lejre Storytelling Festival. I am telling stories outside a farm cottage area. There are about eighty people sitting in the sun listening to my stories. Steve Denning, former Director of the Knowledge Management at the World Bank and at that time a world wide renowned expert in Business Narrative, stands at a bit of distance. I can feel that there is a good flow in my stories and I start my storytelling interaction dance with the audience.

When I am done, Steve comes over to me. He tells me I am a completely different person when I am telling stories. I protest, I am not playing any characters. Then he laughs and says that I am being touchy.

He says that my presence transforms into a double presence. On the one hand I was very much aware of every single member of the audience, how their breath changed, how their eyes changed into a concentrated listening mode. On the other hand I was also present in the story, how every single character in the story was clear for me, how landscapes were shaped in seconds.

This interaction between the presence of the audience and the present of every single aspect of the story, is what we call “The Double Presence”.

Storytelling, a one day workshop for leaders in Copenhagen, Denmark

Storytelling, a one day workshop for leaders in Copenhagen, Denmark

In this highly interactive workshop you will learn how to

– craft a story that serve your purpose

– tell the story to an audience

-get feedback to the story content, the way it was told and clear advices to improve your telling

One week before the workshop: 1/2 hour interview prior to the workshop exploring the needs of the participants

4 hour workshop

1 week after the workshop: One to one coaching on Skype or Zoom

Svend-Erik creates a uniquely inspiring and creative learning environment based on trust and expert narrator skills. Svend-Erik har a broad experience based from culture as well as organizational contexts, and brings his great personality to his coaching practice, too.

Søren Buhl Hornskov, Docent at Københavns Professionshøjskole




When you listen to a story, you know that you´re having a constant influence on it. It may not be something you notice consciously, but just the feeling of eye contact, the direct and clear communication between two people is enough for you as listener to feel that you are important in determining the direction the story will take.

Each of the people listening to a story affects how the story develops. It is a strong feeling to transform into the real world: You helped shape the story – now go out and shape reality. You have to experience it to understand it completely, how the almost hypnotic state a story can put a person in can stimulate action.

Dario Fo, from Italy, the winner of the 1997 Nobel Prize for Literature and a wonderful storyteller: “The audience has always been my litmus paper, every second. Are you able to listen to them, does the audience conduct you like a conductor of a major orchestra?”

The organizational tree

There are basically three kinds of stories you tell in your organization

• Future stories – the canopy and the fruits on the tree: Visions of what the immediate and long-term future will bring to the organization. The Springboard Stories are told in a minimalistic way.

• We stories – the trunk of the tree: Stories that create identity. Values become alive in these stories. Pattern of these stories: Home – challenge – new home

• Personal – stories – the roots of the tree: Every person in the organization is important and every voice should be heard. Some of these stories should stay hidden under the surface. Often with details and some senses activated.

When you as a manager prepare a presentation for a group of employees, think of these three elements, connected to the I -, We – and Future – stories:

• Have you created trust by telling a personal story? Nobody wants to be lead by ‘another suit’.

• Is there a element in your talk that involves a ‘We’? Can you tell what the group have done in a positive way? If not, can you use a negative story to establish a desire for change?

• The last part of your presentation is crucial to the outcome of your encounter with your audience – do you leave them with hope? Is the vision understandable for the group? Is it desirable?

Tuesday 6th November from 9am to 1pm, somewhere in Copenhagen, Denmark

Max. 6 participants

Price: 1500,- kr. + moms including lunch, coffee and a book on storytelling.