Last week was the annual Barefoot Books conference in Oxford. It is always an inspiring event with talks and workshops and the highlight of the event was visit by extraordinary storyteller Daniel Morden. Daniel enthralled us with his telling of the adventures of Achilles, bringing the Greek gods and ordinary mortals to life before our eyes. He then told us his own story. of how he was inspired to tell stories from a young age when his father told him a bedtime tales.
Daniel shared with the group some storytelling gold dust in the form of storytelling tips and tricks.
1. Storytellers dont recite! They take the essence of the story and retell it, a bit differently each time. One way to do this is to find the 7 key moments of a story and then reduce that down to 3 most important moments eg the beginning, the middle and the end.
2. When choosing a story to tell ask yourself why do I want to tell this story? Think about what speaks to you about the story, what it represents. Does it represents a proverb, a question or perhaps a deeper truth? Most importantly make sure it is a story you like! The story which stays with you, niggles away at you and will not leave you alone is the one that needs to be told.
3. See the story in your mind as pictures. As you tell the story to your audience they will see the pictures too.
4. Remember that if you forget what happens next don’t panic! What might feel like to you a huge gaping chasm. May only appear to your audience as a pause for effect!
5. Interact with your audience. Storytelling is a celebration of community, through the act of listening your audience is giving their energy to you. Bring the audience into the stories at appropriate times such as asking the questions What would you do if you were the character in the story?
6. Tell the story with your whole body. Use your hands, facial expressions and movement
7. And last but not least enjoy yourself !
Daniel Morden is going to be at the Storytelling Festival on the Edge really looking forward to hearing more of his amazing storytelling.