How Do You Learn a Story?

Learn your story not by heart, but with your heart! Traditional tales have been told for generations, each teller changing and adapting the tale to meet the needs of the time and the audience. Develop your own version of the story you wish to tell.

Consider how you feel most comfortable learning other things and apply this to how you learn stories. You may find one method works better than another or you may like to use a combination of learning techniques.

Some people have a good visual memory, they learn by creating a series of pictures in their head or storyboarding on paper. Oral memory is strong in others who find it easier to remember a story by hearing it. Others prefer the written word, or learning key points/facts.

How Do You Chose Which Story to Tell?

Many people find it easier to tell stories which have their roots in their own culture. Make this a starting point. However, if a particular culture holds a great deal of interest for you do not be afraid to explore tales from that culture.

Many storytellers advise starting with Folktales, Myths and Legends which have been passed down through the ages. Their value as a story has been proven by their survival. They usually use language which is naturally spoken and contain patterns which are easy to remember. Literary tales can be too complex or use language more appropriate for reading than telling, and the retelling of personal anecdotes is more skilful that it seems.

Do not try to look at too many stories at one time or you will suffer from mental indigestion. Instead look at just one or two at a time, noting down the ones that touch you enough that you need to tell them. It has been said that ‘a storyteller does not choose the stories, the stories choose the teller,’ and to a great extent this is true. If you are not captured by the story, it will be hard for you to convince your listeners of its worth.

Where do I Find A Story?

Stories can be found in books, magazines and newspapers, on the internet, radio and television. They lurk in our memories; there are stories all around us. Your local library is a good starting place.

Why Do We Tell Stories?

We tell each other stories quite naturally as part of our everyday life. We need look no further for proof of this than the snatches of conversation overheard at work, at play, or on the bus.

Telling stories gives us the opportunity to express emotion and to use our imaginations with a freedom no other medium can offer.

Telling stories to children enables them to learn the art of listening, in an age when many are lacking this skill. Encourage them to tell stories and they will gain confidence, improve their vocabulary and their literary skills.

Storytelling is about sharing – not just the sharing of words and plot, but the sharing of emotions and experiences. It involves a direct coming together of the teller and the listener, with no barrier of text. There is a subtle interaction between the teller and the listener which is unique to oral communication.