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How to Tell a Story

By Nothando Zulu, Director, Black Storytellers Alliance

As storytellers, we frequently are asked how to tell stories. Everyone has a story to tell, it is just a matter of speaking the words! To get started telling your story, use one of the following prompts:

  1. My favorite room in my home…
  2. Something that really scared me…
  3. I am most proud of…
  4. The best trip or vacation I have had so far…
  5. My most embarrassing moment…
  6. My greatest life lesson….

After organizing the story in your mind, share it with a family member or good friend.

Storytelling is relating a story or tale or event to one or more listeners, using your voice, facial expressions, and gestures. After relating your story for the first time, ask your listener some questions to find out how they liked the story.

Ask questions such as:

  • Did you like the story?
  • What did you like most about the story? The answer will help you to figure out what is working best: the content of the story, your gestures, your facial expressions, or your voice.
  • Is more detail needed in the story?
  • Did you understand everything I was trying to say?
  • What did you think of the ending?

Does this route seem too much for your first storytelling foray? Try telling a traditional tale such as:

  • Little Red Riding Hood
  • The Three Billy Goats Gruff
  • Cinderella

The main thing is to start telling stories to an audience!

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