Odd Salon Story & Stagecraft Workshop Series

Join us online for a series of workshops designed to help you discover better sources for research, tools to craft compelling stories from obstinate facts, and work through the logistics of sourcing copyright fair images, building visuals, and facing the microphone. 

These workshops will take place on six Thursday evenings in March and April.

All workshops in this series are one hour long, and are designed with the speakers of Odd Salon in mind, but with an eye to sharing tips for access to knowledge, research best practices, and fact checking basics for independent researchers, as well and methods for improving non-fiction storytelling whether on our stage or elsewhere. Bring a past talk or a story in progress to work with, or we’ll provide an odd story starting place for you to use. 

The course is divided into six one hour workshops:

  1. March 4 – RESEARCH IT: Tools for rogue researchers
  2. March 11 – VISUALIZE IT: Visual storytelling & image sourcing
  3. March 25 – GRAPH IT: Transform a subject into a story
  4. April 1 – SHAPE IT: Explore creative narrative structures
  5. April 15 – ILLUSTRATE IT: Build a beautiful slideshow 
  6. April 22 – PRESENT IT: Stagecraft & screen tech

Join us for the whole series at a discount, or select just the workshops that interest you the most. Odd Salon Membership and Patreon discounts apply at both the series and individual level.  

Sessions are hosted via Zoom. Space is limited. 

Individual workshops $25 per household; or save on on full-series access for $125 (one workshop free)

March 4

1: Research it

Tools for rogue researchers

Look beyond web searches for higher quality sources, and learn how to access the incredible wealth of open source knowledge, digitized original sources, and academic journals online. This workshop will provide an introduction to the craft of research, including how to vet sources, understand bias, and battle dis-information and the problems of conflicting sources, plus straight forward tips for fact checking strange stories from history.


March 11

2: Visualize it

Visual storytelling & image sourcing

Get to know the ins and outs of copyright, gain a working knowledge of image technical requirements for video and slideshows, and locate resources for finding images that you can use for any project. We’ll also explore vintage art and photography archives, tools for creating infographics, timelines, and diagrams to support stories, plus keynote cheats and stick figure techniques that don’t require any special artistic chops.

March 25

3: Graph It

Transform a subject into a story

This workshop demonstrates how to break down and graph out a story on a traditional three act tension arc, plotting out context and setting, exposition, and crafting mounting tension and and pleasing denouement, with a particular focus on how the arts of narrative storytelling apply to non-fiction. We’ll also discuss openings and endings, and ways to tell a messy war story, a tale of high misadventure, or biography with a messy ending without leaving the stage strewn with bodies.


April 1

4: Shape It

Explore creative narrative structures

A narrative arc is an excellent starting place for telling a story, but there are many more potential shapes. This workshop will introduce six more advanced shapes of stories for fleshing out underdeveloped primary narratives, adding sidebars, thematic through lines, and rhetorical flourishes and embellishments so you’ll be ready to compete in the tournament round of six degrees of Catherine de Medici.

April 15

5: Illustrate It

Build a beautiful slideshow

A good story deserves great visuals. We’ll look at simple ways to level up your slideshow style presentation, from understanding the templates and tools in slideshow software, to adding simple animations and transitions, taking advantage of overlooked built in features in Keynote and Google Slides, and how to incorporate motion effects and special effects without looking like an advertisement for Crazy Eddie’s Discount Car Lot.

April 22

6: Present It

Stagecraft & Screen Tech

In this final workshop we’re turning to our theater nerds for tips on physical presentation for the stage, from body language to voice techniques, making the most of practice time, tricks to minimize reliance on written notes, battling verbal tics, and learning what to do with your hands while in front of the blinding stage lights. We’ll also look at accessible equipment options, AV hacks, and set up basics to improve backdrops, lighting, and sound for online presentations and video recording.