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Bring me THERE!
The art of storytelling …
Storytelling is the conveying of events in words, images, and sounds often by improvisation or embellishment. Stories or narratives have been shared in every culture and in every land as a means of entertainment, education, preservation of culture and in order to instill moral values. Crucial elements of stories and storytelling include plot and characters, as well as the narrative point of view. Whether it is conversating with friends, meeting new people, or performing in front of crowds – the ability to tell a story is crucial in engaging people. The storyteller must be able to literally bring the audience to their childhood when they got beaten from their parents, or bring the audience to their night of first love, or the day when tragedy struck – storytellers must be able to paint all the conditions so that the audience sees the same picture. The ‘brushes’ one can use varies and there are several techniques from OldFashionedLiving.com that are relevant today more than ever:
1. Paint images with your words by describing things using words related to the five senses. “The day that my grandmother died the world looked like a barren place to me. Everything looked brown and vacant.”
2. Use concrete words from the physical world when speaking, even when talking about invisible things. For example, an audience would be more touched by the very real image of ‘crying’ than the more abstract words ‘mourn’ or ‘grieve.’ “I cried on and off for several months after my grandfather passed away’ versus, “I mourned and grieved for four months when my grandfather passed away.”
3. Create suspense by starting out with a provocative sentence or a provocative question. Finish up by delivering the resolution to your original provocative question. For instance, “Do you know what the one thing is that all women hate? Years ago, I met a female police officer who… And that’s how I learned that the one thing that all women hate is….”
4. Use words that ‘sing.’ This would include words that inspire, words that imitate a sound, words that paint a beautiful picture, etc. Become an investigator on the prowl to find more words that have this kind of effect. Examples: sanctuary, crescendo, seaside, etc.
5. Tell stories when extra emphasis is needed. Your listeners will remember the story long after they remember anything else that you may have shared.
6. Use scenes from movies to drive home a point that you are trying to make. For example, you could say, “When she found out how much credit card debt I am in, I felt like the Wizard of Oz when they pulled back the curtain and revealed the little old man.”
7. Take note of which anecdotes have a powerful impact on others. Reuse these anecdotes whenever possible. This type of anecdote will either move an audience to tears or move listeners enough to make them talk about the anecdote later on with you. Why keep a valuable tool in a drawer?
8. Limit the use of personal anecdotes when making a public presentation. If you use more than three or four stories about your own life, your listeners may feel that you are taking more (their time, attention, etc.) from them than you are giving to them.
9. Tell stories about the cute things that your children and animals have done recently. These anecdotes will brighten up your listeners’ day and warm their hearts!
10. Practice your storytelling skills on a daily basis. People will feel nurtured, entertained, and supported by your effort to become a good storyteller.
Overall, the great storytellers are able to give the audience a relatable experience, inasmuch so that the audience lives, briefly however, vicariously through your words – so that they (the audience member) can continue the oral tradition …
.:: LiBM ::.