- Truth to the Teller — what a storyteller says must be consistent in their heart and mind
- Truth to the Audience — the storyteller has to understand and recognize and what the audience wants and needs and address those wants and needs
- Truth to the Moment — a storyteller adapts a story to the context in which the story is told
- Truth to the Mission — a storyteller is “devoted to a cause beyond self.”
Peter does an outstanding job explaining these truths and showing how important each truth is by providing a story as an example. Peter’s article has exceptional stories to illustrate his points and the power of storytelling. He tells a terrific story about his efforts to film underwater at Havana harbor and convince Fidel Castro to give them permission to film in the harbor. He writes:
The ice broken, I began telling the story of Havana harbor and its centuries at the heart of world commerce, diplomacy, intrigue, and war. The central motivation for early explorers of the New World had been the quest for treasure. As the focal point of Spain’s trading empire and the strategic “key to the Gulf of Mexico,” Havana had been integral to this quest, its port the shipping center through which the gold of the Americas flowed on its way to the Spanish royal court. Pirates, privateers, spies, and rival imperial forces—including Britain’s Royal Navy—had plied its waters, seeking booty, probing for military and economic secrets, and vying for influence. I explained how we would use the latest technology to bring Cuba’s history to television viewers worldwide.
As I spoke, I watched Castro toy with the equipment and listen with growing interest to the story of Havana harbor’s past. Finally, breaking the bureaucrat’s rule, I presented the Cuban leader with a giant tooth (seven inches long, five inches wide) from a megalodon, a prehistoric shark that had once prowled Havana’s waters.
The upshot? Castro spent four hours visiting with our film crew, and he gave us permission to film anywhere in the harbor we wanted. We captured hours of compelling television footage. My impromptu story—and Havana’s story—won the day. “The seas belong to all humankind,” I reminded Castro, “and so does history. You are the steward of Havana’s history, and it is up to you to share it with the world.”
I highly recommend this article. Please read the full story at The Four Truths of the Storyteller