Practice and Stage Fright
A story grows each time it is told, becoming more vivid in the imagination of the storyteller. New details may enter the storyteller's mental picture of the tale. Those new details then can be brought out in the telling of the story for the listener to enjoy. Practicing a tale can start by simply "chatting" it out loud to oneself and then move on to telling it to just one person. It is in the actual telling that a story takes shape. As a teller gains confidence, telling to a larger group becomes more comfortable.
The best way to improve storytelling skills is to practice telling stories. As your listeners travel into the tale with you, trust that your words will inspire their imaginations to conjure pictures. As those pictures become more vivid, the storyteller fades into the background. Rather than wasting any energy on having stage fright or being self conscious, truly give yourself over to telling your story. The more you inhabit your tale, the more listeners will be transported to the imaginary world you are creating for them and you, the teller, will virtually disappear.
Those jittery feelings of nervousness are very similar to the feelings of being excited. Help yourself relax by affirming, "I am excited to tell this tale!" Use that adrenaline for a useful purpose, to encourage you to get up and share the story!
Storytelling in the Classroom | Lesson Plans & Activities
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