Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Storytelling Tips

Elements of Good Storytelling
by Multicultural Storyteller
Andy Fraenkel

Finding, Learning and Telling the Story

**Find a story that means something to you.
**Read the story aloud several times. Note the characters and progression of events. Then tell it in your own words.
**Find the elements of the story that are important to you. Stories connect us to our world and to each other.
**Find the conflict, the tension. What do the characters in your story want most? What is preventing them from getting it? How do the characters change by the end of the story?
Who do you identify with? What characters do you expect your audience to identify with?
**Know exactly what you'll say at the beginning and the end of the story.
**Find your personal strengths. Each of us has our own way of telling the story.
**Events and details move the story along. Caution: Too little detail will make the story an unattractive skeleton; too much will make the story bloated and cumbersome.
**To learn our story use visualization - see the story unfold in the mind's eye and describe what you're seeing. The storyteller stands in an ordinary place, but creates a world of wonder for the audience to enter into.
**What does the story tell you about how people behave with one another?

**Avoid: beginning with an apology; overly long introduction; getting sidetracked; fidgeting; **talking down to your audience; ending without a resolution.
Some stories use a repetitive element.
**Posture - stand comfortably. Look out to your audience. Make eye contact. Don't look down on the ground.
**Rhythm and pacing - find the tempo of each character and each section of the story. In general, we have a tendency to speak too quickly. Slow down. Speak clearly. You may alter your voice and/or posture to indicate various characters in the story.
**Punctuate the story with gesture. Find the exact word or phrase where a gesture or movement would strengthen the delivery. Don't make unnecessary, distracting movements with the hands.
**Pause slightly at the end of the story.

**Speak clearly (I cannot stress this enough) - learn to appreciate the texture of the words; enter into the miracle of speaking, of transmitting the images, of communicating. This is your moment. Connect with the inner storyteller.

**In your reading of stories, look at how they begin (for folktales see 398.2 in the library). Stories can begin with a) a mention or description of time, place, and persons b) a question c) a reflection or realization d) a provocative statement

**Breathe deeply. Relax and enjoy telling the story.

Further Reading

The Storytelling Handbook: A Young People's Collection of Unusual Tales and Helpful Hints on How to Tell Them by Anne Pellowski.

How & Why Stories: World Tales Kids Can Tell by Martha Hamilton & Mitch Weiss
Ready To Tell Tales by David Holt and Bill Mooney
Tales As Tools: The Power of Storytelling In The Classroom - National Storytelling Press

National Storytelling Network located in Jonesborough TN - National Storytelling Conference held in July; National Storytelling Festival held in Oct. 1800 525 4514 www.storynet.org
For more info about my presentations in schools:
Andy Fraenkel
RD 1 - NBU 19
Moundsville WV 26041
TEL: 304 845 6840


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