How to Tell a Story Effectively?
Fables are a significant part of everyone’s childhood memories. The favourite storytellers were grandmoms and parents. They tell tales so effectively that they are still imprinted in our minds. I am sure, none of you will disagree on this with me.
Storytelling at bedtime was a daily ritual at my home when my boys were small. My husband is a great storyteller. I used to tell him, not to start the story session unless I join them after winding up my end-of-the-day job. It used to be a three-story session, one favourite of each of the boys and one new one from one of the storybooks. I still appreciate the way he used to manage his time to update himself for this evening session with the children, in spite of having a gruelling schedule in the office.
Now with changing times, storytelling has entered all spheres of life. Social media is bombarding us with all kinds of stories from all sides. The corporate world has also started to value this skill.
In my opinion, the following three points are important to make an effective storytelling session –
- Deep Emotions
- Personal Connection
- Mass Appeal
Besides these, the most effective way of story-telling is to create scenes in the mind of listeners. The best news is that one can learn to deliver an effective story by focusing on some important points.
Engage your audience- It is good to start your session with some interactions with the audience to grab their attention. Ask a question, even if it’s just pretentious, but it relates to the conclusion. Another idea is to make a grabbing statement that catches the attention of the audience. This forces their attention to focus on the story and makes them want to hear more.
Immersive Experience – An immersive experience helps the audience to feel like the part of the story. Create the scenes in such a way which help them picture the scenario and feel the similar sentiments as you felt. Select the phrases which create very specific emotions.
Build and Release Tension – To keep the attention of your audience the entire flow of the story should be building tension and releasing the tension, until the climax point in the story. This may be followed by conclusive action. The release of tension should come between the tension points. This release can be a description of the scene, or quick filling of semi-relevant details, or a joke if the story is meant to be a bit funny.
Keep the details that help to create proper pacing, but adjust as to meet the reactions of the audience.
Using Your Voice and Body –
Use tone and voice carefully. This will help the different characters in the story feel different. You can also make the story feel more immersive. Play with accents, speech patterns, and voices of different people in the story. Experiment with dramatic pauses. A moment of silence and a look can add a lot to the experience of a story listener.
To become a great storyteller, the ability to create and change facial expressions to match what you’re saying is very important. Your face should be able to basically act out the entire story. Check out the YouTube videos of the storytellers you appreciate.
Use your hands to do some talking. When one uses a hand in storytelling, you transform yourself from a boring storyteller to someone who is in command of a story. Hands create a feeling of action. At least start talking with your hands when you tell a story if you find it difficult or are a novice in using your body language in storytelling.
The only way to improve your storytelling is to practice, practice and more practice. Memorize your story. Be authentic.
The best story can be ruined if you have to stop constantly because of distractions. The environment should not be noisy. If someone hinders the flow of the story, intervene strongly but not rudely and direct it right back to you.
Allow for interaction. A listener’s experience of a story gets better if they are able to interact and join in the experience. You can interact with your audience by asking questions.
This post is a part of Blogchatter Blog Hop