We at Hadithi ya Africa are often asked how we get very new storytellers to deliver such beautifully told stories during our live events. So we decided to share some of the pointers that we teach our storytellers at the storytelling workshop that we call StoryShop©.
Apply a few of these the next time you are asked to share a story and see the difference.
- Be yourself – it sounds obvious, but it is surprising how people accidentally take on an unrelatable persona the minute they see a microphone.
- Don’t try and fit too much story into your story – You have been alive for a few decades, it is a mistake to think those decades can fit into a few minutes.
- Focus on a moment in time – Instead of telling your whole life story, focus on the moments. Most lessons in life can be traced back to a single moment. Tell us about that so we may learn and be inspired by it.
- Limit the number of characters – It is easy to include Jill, John, Jaysen, and Jabu because they were there at that moment, the audience doesn’t care and may be confused. Limit the number of characters in your story to only those necessary to bring the story to life. Now name those few and describe them to us so we know who is important to the story. The rest fall into the nameless category of “My Freinds”.
- Don’t get over-prepared. We know its counter-intuitive, but unlike a speech, the aim of oral storytelling is to share a story so naturally, that the audience feels like close friends sharing a touching moment with you. Try not to perform, the second you start performing is the same second that the audience disengages and look for better performers on social media.
- Be yourself! – Yes, we are repeating that.
- Get to the venue as early as possible – when you get there, introduce yourself to as many people as you can, this will help calm any nerves for when you get up on stage later.
- Avoid alcohol 🙂 especially before taking the stage. It may be called liquid courage but it is not your friend. In the same way as the stage manager who ushers you off stage for rambling too long is not your friend.
- Practice your opening and your closing – make sure the first thing you say intrigues and captures the audience. Remember, you can start your story in the middle of a scene to create intrigue, then reverse to set up the story.
- Lastly, be yourself!!! We really can’t stress this enough. The audience is looking for a unique authentic experience. It does not get any more unique and authentic than you and your life’s experiences
Do you agree with these tips? Leave us a comment below. Or if you are ready to hop onto the stage and share your story? Add your name to the list and we will invite you to come share at a future event.
Not sure about that? Get inspiration from our past storytellers here Check Or attend a live event. Here is a list of our upcoming events.