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mini bon bon
Registered User
(12/5/07 9:14 pm)

How do you prepare to tell a story in front of an audience?
I am naturally inclined to telling stories rather than reading aloud.

I was wondering how do you prepare to tell stories in front of an audience?

Some people are better at performing with notes and some can make stories up on the tips of their tongues, but everyone encounters stage fright or some other form of nervousness.

How do you personally deal with performances? I like to use visuals such as storyboards or powerpoints, to occupy my hands and keep myself from interpretive dancing. I was just wondering as I am thinking about pursuing story telling as a hobby/volunteerism. And i would like to here about people's experiences with story telling and thier techniques, etc.

Heidi Anne Heiner
ezOP
(12/6/07 12:16 am)


Re: How do you prepare to tell a story in front of an audien
The first and best answer is practice, practice, practice. And when you're done practicing, practice some more. Those people who appear to be doing it naturally are usually the ones who have practiced the most. Yes, this is trite but true all the same. And, no, you should not have notes. You need to have practiced enough to not need them. If you still need them, you do not know your material well enough. Yes, they are a safety net, but you cannot allow yourself that kind of crutch in good storytelling.

The most important thing to understand about storytelling is the importance of preparation. If you are not comfortable on that stage, your audience will be even less comfortable. This is not as much about nervousness as preparation.

You also have to be familiar enough with your material to not get easily thrown because a live audience can and will distract you, especially when you are a beginner.

I would also try to attend as many professional storytelling gigs as possible. There are conferences and clubs all around the U.S. to investigate. Just google something in your particular area. You can find workshops, tips, etc. Also, there are some great books out there, most published by August House, to get you started on your way.

Some recommended reading:

Storyteller's Start-Up Book by Margaret MacDonald

Storyteller's Guide by Bill Mooney

There are also great websites. You can also read more about ETSU and the Storytelling Festival held every year in my home state of Tennessee. It's an elite crowd of storytellers, but still a stunning experience to hear and learn from.

And it's all semantics, but using storyboards and powerpoints tends to fall more under storytime and less of storytelling. Traditional storytelling might include some props, but usually it's just you and the audience. I myself am a professional storytime presenter--could spend a good portion of my time doing just that if I chose--and I have trained as a storyteller, but the skills are very different in key ways. I prefer puppets and flannel boards and other materials for my own work, but it tends to be most acceptable with children. Otherwise, straight storytelling is preferred when working with adults.

Heidi

Edited by: Heidi Anne Heiner at: 12/6/07 12:25 am
janeyolen
Registered User
(12/10/07 12:00 pm)


My 2 cents
I was ALL prepared to answer that, but Heidi has done such a good job that I can only add: practice. Oh, did Heidi say that? Well, practice some more.

Jane

mini bon bon
Registered User
(12/10/07 2:23 pm)


thanks
Thanks !!!

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