BECOMING A STORYTELLER
Every person has the potential to be a storyteller. There are no “born tellers” – only people with differing levels of gifts in sharing human experiences. Everyone is already involved in the process of story sharing every time they share their experiences, recount historic events, tell a funny anecdote, and share core values. All these individuals need to become intentional story bearers is for them to make the decision that they will learn to do it better, with greater self-confidence and skill.
WHAT STORIES ARE BEST FOR ORAL TELLING?
Family history stories, magazines, newspapers.
Events from your childhood or personal experiences
Folktales, fairy tales, myths and history books
Simple picture storybooks
WHERE DO YOU FIND SOURCES FOR STORIES?
The 398.2 area of the library
The picture book area of the library or a bookstore
Older family members or people in the community
Newspaper articles, old magazines
Historical events, oral histories, or biographies of historical people
HOW DO I LEARN AND TELL A STORY?
Find a story you really like (you will be living with it for awhile)
Become familiar with the story (read it several times)and any different versions
Picture in your mind the major parts of the story in the beginning, middle, and end.
Practice telling it to yourself. Repeat adding details. Repeat until story is firmly in your mind.
Tell it often and enjoy.
HOW DO YOU GAIN SKILL AS A STORYTELLER?
Tell every chance you can.
Record yourself: are you too fast, too slow, too soft spoken, too monotone?
Add a gesture to bring your story alive
Practice using voices to help tell the story.
Add a prop (a hat, an object from the story, a visual, a costume, or puppets)
Add music from hands or an instrument
Review what works, delete what does not, and keep learning more stories.
Become a member of a group that will provide training, feedback, and constructive criticism.
Attend training events, workshops, and concerts. See if the library carries tapes or CD’s of well-known storytellers - listen and learn.
Bauer, C. Caroline Baur’s New Handbook for Storytellers. 1993.
Cabral, L. Len Cabral’s Storytelling Book. 1997.
Hamilton, M. Stories in My Pocket. 1996.
Macdonald, Margaret Read. Three Minute Tales. 2004.
Pellowski, A. The World of Storytelling. 1977.
Storytelling Etiquette at http://lis.uiuc.edu/~ccb/storytelling_etiquette.html
Storytelling: It’s Not Just Kid’s Stuff, Milbre Burch homepage at http://www.laig.com/kindcrone/article_2.html
Story Cue Cares at http://www.ils.unc.edu/~!sturn/storytelling/cuecard.html (blank form)
http://www.ualberta.ca/~lmireau/plan.html (tips on building cue cards)