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The Art of Storytelling

Storytelling is an art, just as much as painting or music. In a way storytelling is the foundation of all acting. In times gone by storytellers have captivated audiences who would listen intently to every word being said.

But what makes a good storyteller?

Firstly the story has to be good, telling tales about hair falling out is not the stuff of legends. The story has to be powerful, with a strong theme, then it can be delivered appropriately. A good storyteller reaches their audience, and holds their interest from start to finish. The storyteller must be able to cross all barriers, such as age and beliefs, and knowing how to deliver to everybody.

A Good Story

The first step to becoming a good storyteller is that you must have a good story to tell, something that an audience can relate to. Perhaps start with simple stories that have simple but strong elements. You best source of research will be online or in libraries, browse through various fairy-tales, folk legends, and myths that you can find. Try to look for something a little exotic, perhaps from distant lands and cultures. But remember always give credit to your source, not only is it the correct procedure but it will also give credence to your tale.

How to Spot a Good Story

Really good stories have one main underlying theme, the story has to be well defined and a good plot is essential. The story should always be a true description of the event that it is trying to portray, and be faithful to the original source. The characters in the story must be strong and appeal to the audience.

Adapt to the Audience

The audience has a key role to play in storytelling, and a good storyteller must be able to adapt to each and every different audience. When you are telling stories you must engage and have interaction with your audience. Particularly in the modern world there are so many distractions that people’s attention spans have shortened. And thanks to the internet and mobile phones they want entertaining quickly and often.

Modern day storytelling is difficult, audiences have forgotten the art of visualizing things and find it hard to imagine things independently. So your skills at delivering a story have to be strong, capture the attention of your audience from the very first word and hold it throughout.

Honing Your Skills

To improve your skills as a storyteller you must thoroughly prepare beforehand. When you have found your story you must spend time reading it, and concentrate whilst you are doing so. Pay attention to the detail, the story’s background and what it is trying to relay, does it have a cultural message? Discover its mood, and why it appealed to you in the first place. How can you recreate this mood to your audience? Everything in the story, the characters and places should feel real to you. Try to visualize the colors, sounds, scents, tastes and ambiance that are in the text and be able to relay this to your audience.

Storytelling is becoming a dying art to what it was in ancient times, but it has adapted to the modern world. Your storytelling must do so also, modern audiences have to believe in what you are saying for them to relate to it.

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