If you’ve ever wanted to use your superpowers to engage, persuade, and change your life, then do we have the Storyworthy show for you!

Today I’ll be talking with Matthew Dicks, the international best-selling author, 35-time Moth StorySLAM champion, six-time GrandSLAM champion, cofounder of Speak Up and the author of a truly brilliant must-read book for spinning a yarn, Storyworthy.

And that’s just what I want to talk with him about today, about how to Engage, Teach, Persuade, and Change Your Life through the Power of Storytelling.






Matthew Dicks is the internationally bestselling author of the novels Memoirs of an Imaginary FriendSomething MissingUnexpectedly, Milo, The Perfect Comeback of Caroline JacobsStoryworthy: Engage, Teach, Persuade, and Change Your Life through the Power of Storytelling, and the upcoming The Other Mother and Cardboard Knight. His novels have been translated into more than 25 languages worldwide.

Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend was the 2014 Dolly Gray Award winner and was a finalist for the 2017 Nutmeg Award in Connecticut.

He is also the author of the rock opera The Clowns and the musicals Caught in the MiddleSticks & Stones, and Summertime. He has written comic books for Double Take comics. He is a columnist for Seasons magazine and has published work in Slate magazine, Reader’s Digest, The Hartford Courant, Parents magazineThe Huffington Post, and The Christian Science Monitor. The Connecticut Society of Professional Journalists awarded him first prize in opinion/humor writing in 2015, 2016, and 2017.

When not hunched over a computer screen, Matthew fills his days as an elementary school teacher, a storyteller, a speaking coach, a blogger, a wedding DJ, a minister, a life coach, and a Lord of Sealand. He has been teaching for 20 years and is a former West Hartford Teacher of the Year and a finalist for Connecticut Teacher of the Year.

Matthew is a 35-time Moth StorySLAM champion and 6-time GrandSLAM champion whose stories have been featured on their nationally syndicated Moth Radio Hour and their weekly podcast. He has also told stories for This American Life, TED, The Colin McEnroe ShowThe Story Collider, The Liar Show, Literary Death Match, The Mouth, and many others. He has performed in such venues as the Brooklyn Academy of Music, The Wilbur Theater, The Academy of Music in North Hampton, CT, The Bynam Theater of Pittsburgh, The Bell House in NYC, The Lebanon Opera House, The Cutler Majestic, Boston University, and Infinity Hall in Hartford, CT.

He is a regular guest on several Slate podcasts, including The Gist, where he teaches storytelling.

Matthew is also the co-founder and creative director of Speak Up, a Hartford-based storytelling organization that produces shows throughout New England. He teaches storytelling and public speaking to individuals, corporations, and school districts around the world. He has most recently taught at Yale University, The University of Connecticut Law School, Purdue University, The Connecticut Historical Society, Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health, Miss Porter’s School, The Berkshire School, and Graded School in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Matthew is the creator, producer, and co-host of Speak Up Storytelling, a podcast that teaches people to tell their best stories.

Matthew is also the creator and co-host of Boy vs. Girl, a podcast about gender and gender stereotypes.

Matthew is married to friend and fellow teacher, Elysha, and they have two children, Clara and Charlie. He grew up in the small town of Blackstone, Massachusetts, where he made a name for himself by dying twice before the age of eighteen and becoming the first student in his high school to be suspended for inciting riot upon himself.


Hartford magazine: These Greater Hartford Players Capture Life Through Storytelling

Hartford magazine: The Art Of Storytelling Thrives And Endures In Connecticut

Newsweek: Have We Got a Story For You: 18 Years of Storytelling at The Moth

Innovation Hartford: Author, Educator, and Entrepreneur Co-founds Speak Up

The Atlantic: The Student I Couldn’t Stand

Fatherly: How to Tell the Best Bedtime Stories

Hartford Courant: My Forever Friend

Hartford Courant: Newington Fifth Grade Teacher Publishes Novel About Bullying

Hartford Courant: West Hartford Teacher Matthew Dicks Finds Success With “Something Missing”

Wikipedia entry


Matthew Dicks Online: Website| Facebook| Twitter

Key Topics:

  • How did Matthew Dicks become a good story-teller?
  • What happened when he went to his first Moth StorySLAM???
  • What are some of the early stories he’s shared?
  • Do we need big stories in order to become a story-teller?
  • Can anyone become a story-teller?
  • Why do we want to learn how to tell good stories?
  • What can we learn about ourselves through the process?
  • If you have no desire to get on stage, why learn to be a story-teller?
  • What are a few big no-no’s when it comes to telling a story?
  • What’s wrong with drinking stories or vacation stories?
  • Why do stories have to require change?
  • What’s the harm in telling other people’s stories?
  • What is the dinner test?
  • What is “Homework for Life” and how can it change our lives?
  • How can it help slow down time?
  • What’s the importance of “moments” in our life?
  • What’s the slash and burn exercise?
  • What is the first last best worst exercise and how can it help us?
  • What does it mean that the beginning should be the opposite of the ending?
  • Three key ways to keep your story compelling.
  • What is an elephant?
  • What is a backpack?
  • What are story hourglasses?
  • What’s the Spiderman principle of meetings and presentations?
  • How does storytelling give you superhero powers?
  • What’s one homework assignment to help you become a better story-teller?
  • How can we help our kids become better story-tellers?
  • To find out more visit: and to find Matthew Dick’s podcast go to the SpeakUpStoryTelling show.

Related Podcasts:

INSPIRE #727: HOW TO DISCOVER YOUR STORY & REWRITE YOUR LIFE! (Sandra Marinella, “The Story You Need To Tell”)

INSPIRE #711: HOW TO ENHANCE YOUR RELATIONSHIPS AT WORK, HOME & LIFE! + Guided Meditation | (Michael Gelb, “The Art Of Connection”)


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