You Want to Become an Effective Storyteller
is a storyteller, but at different levels. There is everyday
storytelling when we get home from work and tell about our day.
There is casual storytelling at gatherings for example: reunions,
parties, picnics, and other get-togethers of friends and families.
Then, there is storytelling that involves presenting to a group.
This may be storytelling included in a speech, or a presentation
of one or more stories by a storyteller amateur or professional.
No matter what level of storytelling to which you aspire, you can
use the following tips:
a story you love. There are many ways to find the right story
and stories for you. Look for stories in your own family anecdotes.
Another natural place is in your own cultural and ethnic background.
Go to the 398.2 section of the library. Read, read, and read some
more, looking for stories that surprise, haunt, amuse, or touch
you. Never tell a story you dont like or a story that you
choose because it is trendy and marketable or someone else likes
it. The right story is the one that fits you emotionally, intellectually,
Start telling. The only way you can become effective as a
storyteller is to dive right in and practice, practice, practice.
Try out many stories on friends and family anyone who will
listen. By telling and retelling, you will find out what works and
what stories are right for you. I also suggest joining the National
Storytelling Network. You will find storytellers and storytelling
groups in your state and region. These will offer opportunities
for sharing stories and getting feedback. If there isnt a
storytelling group or guild in your area, you could start your own,
or join a Toastmasters International club. These usually meet weekly,
and by making your assigned presentations into stories you will
gain valuable evaluations on those stories.
the story. What are the bare bones of the story? Rather than
memorizing a story that you find you are drawn to, write down a
concise outline of the storys plot or make a storyboard of
the series of events. Then put yourself into the time, place, and
characters of the story. Tell the story in your own words as if
it happened to you or someone close to you. Answer the questions,
Why am I telling this particular story? What is it about this
story that speaks to me?
the story and stories your own. What parts of the story intrigue
you? What strengths and talents do you have that you can use to
enhance your telling? What is unique about you that you can bring
to the telling of stories? There are storytellers who enhance their
telling with music, percussion, mime, facial expressions, poetry,
and song. There are other storytellers who sit and tell in the traditional
style of letting the story come through them only using voice and
words. We will talk more about using props in future articles, but
remember, never use a prop unless it enhances rather than detracts
from the telling.
at local schools, libraries, nursing homes, and organizations.
Most of these will welcome a storyteller, and telling to these groups
will give your repertoire a testing. You will find out what works
and what doesnt. You will also discover the differences in
telling for different ages. This is an excellent way to decide who
the ideal audience is for you and your stories.
And keep on telling. You are on the way to becoming an effective