The Poetic Storyteller

Chicago, IL

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About this pro

How does your service stand out?

Motivational Speaking and Inspirational Stories. Folktales and Historic Monologues. I stand out in the way I engage the audience. I select material that fits the age of the audience members and theme of the event. I have a wonderful variety of material including, motivational speaking topics, folktales, fairy tales, personal stories, poetry, sing along, call and response and musical accompaniment

What do you enjoy about the work you do?

The ability to share a traditional art form in a way that is accessible to all ages, all cultures. I love to receive referrals from past clients especially when I perform for children and families. I have wonderful experiences with Teens and seniors as well. My motivational speaking programs are incredible, the attention and energy of the audience is inspiring. Many times I've received compliments from past audience members who claim how the words of encouragement helped them on their path in life.


Chicago, IL 60655

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Years in business


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12 Reviews
  • Karen O. Jul 30, 2015
    What a delight it was for us to have Oba William King as a feature storyteller at our HOMEWOOD STORIES show this month!! A true professional! He gave us 110% of himself. He arrived early, ahead of our requested 'call-time' eager to be of service. He told a true story from an experience when he was a child. The audience was totally engaged as Oba took us on a journey in time with him. Audience members leaned in to listen to the descriptive imagery from his spoken word as well as the emotion from his tonality and body movement. Everyone's heart was expanded from what he shared --- more than a week later people are still talking about his unique style and story!! THANK YOU, OBA!! YOU ROCK!! Please come back anytime!
  • Delorse F. Feb 22, 2015
    Oba was the storyteller for the assembly at our school this month. He performed for three different age/grade levels from primary to upper grade. Our older children can be a hard audience but they were mesmerized as Oba educated and entertained. Our younger students and staff really enjoyed the performance too. The little ones and the staff were singing "I Love My People", hours after the assemblies were over. We are looking forward to Poetry Month in April. Thank you for sharing your gift with us !
  • Sharon D. Feb 12, 2015
    Oba and the entire ensemble were warm and inviting to our diverse library audience. They were kind, professional, and the show was very entertaining! Great for music, dance, poetry, and storytelling performances.
    Oba-William K. Feb 21, 2015

    Thank you, Asante Sana Ms. Sharon you and your staff did a great job of preparing the space. The audience from your community, superb. A wonderful multicultural gathering of neighbors and friends. Please invite me again, for Summer reading, or any opportunity to stories.

  • Linda J E. Feb 4, 2015
    My name is Minister Linda J Ervin. Oba has been the featured artist at the Apostolic Assembly Black History programs for the last three years The congregation enjoy his artistry so much they have inquired are you inviting the Poetic Story Teller this year? Wonderful person to work with ,always on time always aware of the time set aside. We have become great friends over the years.
  • Kizzy G. Feb 21, 2014
    Verified Review
    I wish I could post about this performer in his element, but I can't. Sadly, my rating is based on administrative follow-thru and responsiveness. Mr. King responded to my inquiry with a quote, before I accepted the quote I wanted to get more info and find out if he was comfortable performing at our son's bday party given that he, and many of the attendees have Developmental Differences and we are a same-sex couple. However after nearly 10 days I have yet to receive a response, so I had to go with someone else, which has worked out. I will never forget the smile Mr. King put on my child's face when he saw him at another event , for that I would give him an Excellent, for responding to difficult or challenging questions/situations, my rating stands. Disheartening
    Oba-William K. Mar 10, 2014

    Ms Kizzy G. I am sorry for your disappointment. While I was on the road during February, when I received your request, I made the quote and sent my contact information. The developmental differences of your son and the other party attendees, as well as the face that you and your partner are same sex couple, were NOT any issue for me what so ever! I wish, you had reached out once more, February had me traveling from Florida to Texas, All around Chicago land and into Detroit. When I replied I offered a discount, I wish I had a chance to perform for your child, I would have loved to see the light in his eyes as well. Please feel free to communicate with me directly, I wonder why does the public need to see a "performance" review. This was miscommunication / not an act of sub par performing.

  • Mary W. Sep 26, 2013
    Oba was the storyteller for the Opening of our new Branch Library at Robert A. Black. We could not have made a better choice! He mesmerized young and old with his stories. He made a connection with EVERY member of his audience. Now we simply have to find the funds to bring him to our Main Building as well.
    Oba-William K. Sep 26, 2013

    I enjoy sharing the artform, while celebrating culture, heritage and each other. Asante Sana

  • Vicki S. Aug 5, 2013
    Verified Review
    Had Oba for a VBS fun day. Wonderful experience! The kids were mesmerized from the beginning. Oba's voice with the drums had them from the beginning. He kept the kids participating in the story and then becoming the story. Wonderful experience. Highly recommend.
    Oba-William K. Mar 10, 2014

    VBS time to schedule again, I look forward to see the children at your summer program every year Thank You

  • Mimi W. Jul 30, 2013
    Oba William King is a versatile performer! He has a warm and nuturing approach with his audience which was apparent during each of our age groups of 2's, 3's and PreK and Kindergarten. He was able to tell a story and keep it age apropriate with only a few tweaks and twists. The children sat before him both mesmerized and entertained with his music, stories and drums; truly an achievement of an excellent performer. They later asked if he was coming back next week to tell them a new story and teach a new song. Oba is truly awesome!
    Oba-William K. Jul 30, 2013

    I am grateful for the opportunity to share stories and meet new friends. The highlight of the day was at the end, while I was packing my car to leave, one of the children walking with his Mother saw me coming through the door and said to his Mom.... " Mom, There's My Man!" .. being a storyteller is truly a gift and I love sharing.

  • Shenita M. Nov 19, 2012
    Oba William King is a great performer, full of life, energy and knowledge that can be utilized in any setting whether it is a public library, church or a community event. Oba created a wonderful program "Building Bridges" for seniors and teens at the Greater Grand Crossing Library that brought together the two groups to discuss history and current events through spoken word and storytelling that helped build a bridge between the two.
    Oba-William K. Nov 19, 2012

    I enjoy this program very much, and look forward to growing the participant level and building an everlasting legacy.

  • Terry K. Sep 5, 2012
    Deeply rooted in the art of . Dynamic speaker with an outstanding witty disposition.
    Oba-William K. Nov 19, 2012

    Asante Sana

  • Paula W. Sep 5, 2012
    Oba was electrifying! During his stay with us he worked with 3 different grade levels of children, K-2, 3-5 & 6-8 grade. Each assembly was different however he was able to capture the attention and interest within each group through his use of music/drums, poetry and spoken word. He was able to get even the shy children involved in some way.The parents loved what he was able to do with their children in such a short period of time. Everyone was still singing some of the songs after Oba was gone.
    Oba-William K. Sep 5, 2012

    I am grateful for the opportunity to share the gift of Storytelling with such a wonderful organization educators, parents and talented group of children!

  • Sheena I. Jul 17, 2012
    I was amazed and mesmerized as I watched OBA speak with such power in his voice.......The consciousness in the room raised.I watched his movements very carefully. When the multiple drums started to play,his energy vibrated the whole room ! WoW ! Najla
    Oba-William K. Oct 15, 2014

    Fantastic Opportunity to share


What is your typical process for working with a new customer?
I receive a booking request and submit a basic quote with standard price. The potential customer will review my information and check my references, also google my history. Then we talk by phone to get the particulars of the specific event or activity for which they are requesting my services. We make a verbal agreement by phone or email, then submit a contract in writing, sign and deliver.
What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?
motivational Speaking and Storytelling workshops, conferences and development classes. Presenting new material and finding new venues to apply the art-form. Sharing with colleagues and exchanging information is one of the best methods for honing the craft of storytelling
Do you have a standard pricing system for your service? If so, please share the details here.
It's not so complicated, but the pricing is adjustable to fit the clients budget. I have a standard listed fee, based on Illinois Arts Council average. Sometimes clients want the best but have other priorities and budgets are stretched. I can negotiate a fair price for the client and myself.
How did you get started doing this type of work?
I began at Santa Barbra City College with training and development as Theatre performer. Additional apprenticeship with Oscar Brown Jr, Dr Burroughs and influenced by Harold Johnson and Gwendolyn Brooks. I've continued my studies with fellowships and practice.
What types of customers have you worked with?
Motivational Speaking and Storytelling. I've presented at Colleges, Community Service Organizations, Elementary, Middle and High Schools, Interactive Storytelling Presentations and Festivals. My early childhood programs have allowed me to perform at Family Literacy Night, Birthday Party, Pre-school Assembly, Holiday Celebration, Family Gathering, Church Events, Cultural Arts celebrations. I perform with drum and when needed I add a vocalist or dancer and recorded original music. You can find my videos and music on Youtube
Describe a recent project you are fond of. How long did it take?
Storytelling Presentation at Vernon Chapel AME in Detroit Mi. I traveled by car, presented a workshop for colleagues, performed the Faith Based storytelling presentation 90 minutes, then visited schools, Monday and Tuesday Morning and After noon, slept over nite and returned to Chicago.
What advice would you give a customer looking to hire a provider in your area of work?
Please check references, watch video's, google the history of the performer and discuss the type of activity you are planning.
What questions should customers think through before talking to professionals about their project?
That I have studied with Masters in the field of my profession, I have extensive training, and a passion for my work. I am available for all organizations, schools, churches, business, even private parties and I am seeking opportunities to broaden my market.