Once Upon a Time There was a Wonderful Storyteller. . .
"Once upon a time in a land NOT far away, there was a wonderful storyteller that was loved by all . . ."
A good storyteller is welcome almost everywhere and anytime!
Yes, being a good storyteller can make parents more effective communicators with their children. But this skill of storytelling can also be extremely beneficial for a business owner, employee, writer, teacher, and many other occupations.
A storyteller needs two essential items: a good story and one that is relevant to the audience.
Here are some tips that will help you be a better storyteller:
1. Read, read, and read some more. You’ll stand a better chance of becoming a good storyteller if you’re exposed to good stories and good writing. Recall your favorite stories. What can you discover from them to help you create your own?
2. Record everything. Keep a record of your experiences, things you’ve heard others say, or dreams you have. Write them or use a digital recorder and have these “notes” transcribed. You can incorporate some of these into your stories.
3. Release your imagination. Interested in storytelling to entertain your children? Write your stories down or record them as you tell them to your children. You could then create a book of stories much the way Frank Baum did with the OZ stories or C.S. Lewis did with The Chronicles of Narnia.
4. Use what you know. Tell stories about something that is important to you. When you know and have passion for your subject matter, the story will exceptional power. If your stories include people you know, get permission or change the names and details about the characters.
5. Clarify your story’s purpose. If you’re telling a story to children, your purpose will be to entertain and teach them. If you’re using a story to help you sell something, your purpose will be to elicit an emotional response. The reasons for each story are entirely different.
6. Know your audience. Keep a story simple for children and increase its complexity with older audiences. But remember that today even adults have shorter attention spans than in previous generations. Remove unnecessary details or detours from your story
7. Observe the world. Notice a need that’s not being met? You could tell a story to call others to action. If you’re a business owner, you might be able to use a current trend as a basis for a story. If you’re a stay-at-home parent, you might be able to use a tip you learned from another parent to tell a story to your kids.
8. Focus on the essential facts. Storytellers, especially new storytellers, have a tendency to take off on rabbit trails that have nothing to do with their story. If you stray from the story, your audience may not follow you. TIP: write your story out on paper. This can help you trim unneeded details and stay focused.
9. Take lessons. Storytelling or acting lessons could help you develop skills that bring your story to life. For example, using different voices for the characters in the story, getting comfortable with your body, pacing of your speaking, and honing improvisational skills.
Storytelling is a powerful tool. When communicating with others through stories, you can entertain or bring them to action depending on the story and how well you tell it.
So, whether you’re introducing values to your children or you’re selling a product, being a good storyteller can bring you greater success in your endeavors. And who knows, you may be that storyteller loved by all wherever and whenever you appear!
NOTE: This is the second in a two-part series on Storytelling. The first article can be found here:
Story: A Memorable Method of Communication
International Storytelling Center
How to Speak From Your Power With the Art of Liberessence | Cindy Ashton | TEDxButler
Parents Guide to Storytelling: How to Make Up New Stories and Retell Old Favorites
99 Ways To Tell A Story: Exercises in Style
Writing Life Histories
Image by Patricio González from Pixabay
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