Presenting a story to tell
Setting the Ambience
Traditional story telling may call to mind, a warm fire with flickering flames on a winter's night, or a cosy bedroom with a small child tucked up sleepily. Ambience is important in story telling. Nowdays, children are used to having a visual stimulus, familiar as they are with videos, DVDs and TV.
I like to have a story focus. This is usually a table with a bright cloth, in my case, a red velvet cloth, on which I set an item, or something, associated with the story theme.
If you are regularly telling stories to the same group, setting the story focus will act as a positive trigger. Depending on your approach, this will work with any age group.
Using your voice
It is difficult to give examples in written form. Later I hope to add oral clips on this page to support this story telling section but, for now, I can give the following advice.
Remember, story telling is not acting or public speaking. You are just sharing a story with your listeners. You can help if you
Involving your audience
- Sit in a comfortable chair where you can move about easily
- Props will help you to use your hands
- Make eye contact
- Take the pace slowly
- Vary the pitch of your voice
- Remember that pauses can be effective
- Smile, and enjoy yorself
If your audience are enjoying the story they will have ideas as well. Once you are confident in your story, you can encourage your audience to join in by
- Suggesting detail
- Predicting what might happen next
- Adding description
- Role-playing characters with you
- Joining in with repeating sequences
A VIDEO DEMONSTRATING STORY TELLING, WITH TEN YEAR OLDS, IS INCLUDED IN THE DESCRIBE CDROM FROM LONGFORD LIBRARY 0433341124