Chris Thompson's innovative approach to Creative EducationFind out about the exciting Scribing Technique. Downloadable Resources providedInteractive approaches to Story telling and downloadable resourcesIdeas for drama in the classroom with all age groupsStory telling and Magic shows for all agesDemonstration sessions, workshops for teachers, and more












Now you have thought about prparing the story, how will you present it
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Preparing a story to tell

Once you know what story you would like to tell, a story appropriate for your age and type of audience, then you need to prepare it for telling.
Remember, story telling is not public speaking or acting. It is a shared experience between teller and listener. Scribing illustrates just how close, and effective a story telling relationship can be.

Preparing the Story
Traditional story tellers knew plenty of tricks for both remembering the story themselves and for making it memorable for the audience. Traditionally, everone new what to expect. They were not looking for novelty but for impact, description and familiarity .

Story openings and closings were always particularly important. Many story tellers had opening and closing lines that they would use again and again. The purpose of a story opening is a bit like the theme music for a favourite TV show. It catches the attention of the audience. It is the trigger that an enjoyable experience is about to begin. The final line brings the audience back and releases the listeners from the story spell. For example "And if they aren't still living in the castle, well no-one thought to tell me about it".
"Once upon a time", can seem a bit cliched now, but the idea is the same. A strong first and last line are essential. If you are certain about the beginning and ending of your story you will feel less nervous as well.

Story signpostsTraditional story tellers knew all about placing markers in their stories to act as signposts. Phrases might be repeated at the beginning of a sequence of events within a story. This would allow both listener and teller to mentally recap and catch up. These story "runs" are very helpful to the teller.
For example, as part of a story I enjoy telling, , twice a character is handed a magic whistle.
The "run" goes "Around him there was a misting, and the misting became a fogging, and the fogging became a sleeping, and the sleeping became a dreaming, and the dreaming became a waking", and the sun was rising in the sky and his clothes were wet with dew. But in his hand was the silver whistle".
This "run" acts as a break for me. I don't have to think about what I need to say at this point.

Using Story Props I find that using a few props, say a tin whistle in the story referred to above, are helpful in with an audience accustomed to visual stimulus. Don't be tempted to use pictuires, even if you are re-telling a story from a well illustrated book. Pictures slow down the story and distract the audience. You can always show pictures if you talk about the story afterwards. Props may act as memory aids for you as well.?