Story Dynamics – Stories » Oral language

Relating to Your Listeners

In this third installment of “12 Skills of the Storyteller,” I take up the two key skills of relating to your listeners. This is where the magic happens!

Oral Language Skills for Storytellers

In this second installment of “12 Skills of the Storyteller,” I take up the two key skills relating to oral language.

Beware the “Storytelling Voice”!

Too many storytellers adopt an artificial way of speaking that has nothing to do with communication or the peculiar qualities of the tale being told. This practice holds back the teller, the listeners, and the growth of storytelling as a whole.

Coaching a teller to drop this kind of “misdirected effort” is tricky, but possible. The coach must lead the teller through four important steps. Above all, we must treat tellers afflicted with this “performance virus” with patience, respectfulness, and genuine affection, for they, too, have great potential and are therefore precious to our movement.

What Can Storytellers Learn from Tulsa?

Compared to Bostonians, Tulsans have a different style of waiting. This has big implications for telling stories effectively, as this article describes. There is also an exercise you can do to determine if your storytelling stance is more Tulsa or more Boston.

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