Everybody has a story to tell. Whether it is a funny story from their childhood, or an unfortunate event that occurred while on the way to work, people are surrounded by experiences in life that they can translate into well-articulated stories. However, many people may be deemed as bad storytellers, which can often be frustrating to both parties; for example, patience can be lacking in listening to or telling stories. Everyone knows a really horrible storyteller, whose tale always seems to drag on and is just frustrating to listen to or follow. On the other hand, everyone knows a really gifted storyteller, whose narrations are always enjoyable and entertaining. Luckily, for the diagnosed “bad” storytellers, here are four ways to become better:
Make the story interesting
It is very important that the story you are going to tell will be interesting, not for just you, but for the rest of your audience. Make sure that you tell a story that is interesting enough that your audience wants to know more about what happened, and that they want to listen to from beginning and end. However, do not add untrue things or even fluff to a story to make it more interesting; being honest and interesting should go hand-in-hand.
Stick to the point of the story
When telling a tale, make sure you are aware of why you are telling it and what purpose it serves. It should be important to not just you, but the audience. It should also be focused on one topic. It is important to find the point of the story and to stay on track from there. Do not stray away from the tale by focusing on detail or even combining more than one story into another.
Use emotion to convey the message
A storyteller that uses emotion allows for the audience to connect with a story on a personal level. Without emotion, the audience would not know what the storyteller’s intentions were when relating the tale and they would not know how to react to a certain aspects within the story. Emotion is key to pulling off a successful story.
Pay attention to the time
When telling a story, make sure that you are aware of the time that you are spending on it. Do not allow for the story to drag on and make sure that the audience will be completely entertained the whole time. Also allow for others to tell tales in the time that you give up for telling your story. Just keep an eye on the time and limit it so that your story is impactful and not lengthy.
In the end, people will criticize the tales that you tell no matter what. However, if you maintain these four tips with total confidence, you will be able to tell really good stories without much effort. Since stories are such a big part of life, it is important to start working on good technics early on. Good luck and happy storytelling!
Katie Kondrick is a sophomore history major and communications minor at Waynesburg University. She has a passion for event planning and hopes to find a position in museum event planning post graduation.