How To Be A Good Storyteller

Take the time to prepare.
Take the time to learn how to tell a story. Don’t just dive into telling a story you have heard only once.

Break the story into parts. Practice with a recording device and a gentle-yet-truthful friend who can hear your first attempts.

Like backstory, detail interacts with all of the other tools in the storyteller’s toolbox. You must give details about the characters, setting, events, and backstory of your tale in order to bring your story vividly to life in the imaginations of your audience. The good storyteller throws in plenty of juicy details – the way a character walks, the color of the living room rug, the expression on a character’s face, the song playing on the radio.

Do not hesitate to remove the slow parts of your story.
It’s not unusual for first-time storytellers to try to tell every piece of a story. Storytelling occurs in the moment so not every detail has to be included each time. Ask yourself, “Do I need to tell this piece of the story this time? Is it critical?”

Use a strong and confident voice.
Being prepared will make you confident. Speak with clarity and confidence. Enunciate and project your voice towards the listeners.

Use good pacing.

When you are confident, you will not be in a hurry. You want to speak slow enough so that the story is easily absorbed by the audience but do not speak so slowly that their minds check out of the room.

Make sure your story has a good ending.
If you’re going to make your listener sit through an entire story, you’d better have a good reason why by the end of it.

Maintain velocity.
Good storytelling is a sort of verbal bobsledding. A good story need not be brief, and it also doesn’t have to be told at a breakneck pace. But it should move briskly and have a lot of energy behind it, and maybe feel a bit reckless at certain points.

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