Re-storying connection: 6 tips to help you become a better storyteller

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Logo: Chris Holland - Nature Connection

In our everyday and work lives, many of us would like to be a better ‘storyteller’, and many of us are nervous and shy of ‘Storytelling’, lacking the courage to stand up and deliver, so here’s a handful of tips on developing your own storyteller’s voice for National Storytelling Week from Devon based author, storyteller and outdoor educator, Chris Holland.

Whether it’s being able to tell a good joke, to share anecdotes and information relating to our work or being able to tell a captivating 30 minute folk tale, storytelling is part of being human, it’s one of the oldest survival skills. We needed to share information about resources and larders, dangers and routes.

From that time onwards telling stories has helped us connect to each other, the land, the past and future as well as store our cultural wisdom. Aural stories were the hard drives of the past, multi layered storage of data.

Without storytelling humans would not be where we are today.

And the story of the human race is at a pivotal point.

The future we move towards depends on the stories we choose to tell, as well as the stories we choose to drop.

The Storyteller's Playbook - image of Chris telling a story round a fire

I would like to help you tell the stories you think are valuable to share.

Whatever your line of work, here are five simple and effective tips and tricks I came up with years ago, based on the mnemonic, PROPS, for the storytelling workshops I run. They will improve your oracy, your ability to express yourself fluently and grammatically, and give you the confidence to tell:

P – Prop: Having an interesting object that you can hold in your hand which relates to what you want to talk about averts people’s gaze from your face as you talk, and focuses it on something else, easing the pressure on you, and maybe even helps you remember what it is you want to say!

R – Remember: Take a moment before you start to assemble the main arc/points of what you want to say. To help do this I also take a few slow breaths and get into an upright pose that helps me be heard clearly.

O – Observations: Use your observations within what you want to say, and picture things in your mind as you talk, because mirror neurones will fire in the imaginations of your audience as they listen.

P - Purpose & participation: The intention of what you want to share is carried by the words you use so keep that in mind and engage the audience with questions or ways they can participate

S - Smile! Fake it if you have to. Smiling helps your whole being relax and a smile in the eye makes you even more appealing to look at and listen to.

Good luck! May the story you walk and talk bring you health and contentment.

PS here’s a coupon to Get 80% of my Storyteller’s Playbook for only £6 today - it’s usually £30 - Click Here

It’s a video based course online and it’s gone down very well with over 3000 participants already. Here’s some feedback and some info on the course.

"Thank you so, so much for a fabulous experience, rich in learning, magic, inspiration and so much to take away and use in my work! I've thoroughly enjoyed every minute." Jemma, Bristol.

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Posted On: 04/01/2022

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