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Storytelling:

The Lost Art!


We often donʼt think about it, but storytelling is an
art form. Humans have been telling stories since
the dawn of our existence; whether you believe
that the world is 4.5 billion years old, or 7000
years old, humans have been telling stories in
one form or another. In ancient times, storytellers
were artists who entertained audiences as well as explained history. The Bible,
Gilgamesh, The Iliad, The Odyssey, Beowulf, Sir Gowan the Green Knight, and all other
ancient tales were once told orally by storytellers. Later, bards wandered the land
singing and telling stories. Many of Shakespeareʼs plays were famous stories that had
been handed down among actors in Europe. Even today, talented public speakers all
know how to use a story to explain a concept, share information, or prove a point.
Storytelling is one of the foundational skills of public speaking.

We watched the way Sir Ken Robinson used storytelling in his TED Talk about how
education kills creativity. How did he use the stories? The story about the little girl
drawing a picture of God demonstrated what? The story about “Frank sent this,”
communicated what to the audience? How about the story of the dancer when she was
young? What about my story? Storytelling is a powerful tool.

Now it is your turn to tell a story. Follow the Master Storytellers advice -- choose a story
that is meaningful to you. You can use a childrenʼs tale, a personal story, a story about
someone else, but make sure it is a story that you enjoy. Remember to include details
and you can even act out sections. You will have the rest of the class today and the next
two classes to work on your story. After that be prepared to get up in front of class and
share your story with us.

Follow the steps to success:


1. Choose a story that you enjoy/love/find meaningful. Make sure it is 3-5 minutes in
length... You will be timed!
2. Practice! Practice! Practice! You may use notecards, but make sure not to read them
during the whole story.
3. Perform! Use the public speaking basics to enhance your story.

Good luck! Iʼm looking forward to hearing your stories.


Category 5 3 1

Enthusiasm Enthusiasm propels Enjoys audience None exhibited, just


audience toward total scared
involvement

Introduction & Intro sets mood and Introduces self and No clear intro or
Closure invites audience in, story, walks off when ending, walks off before
closure ties up finished not waiting for audience knows is
everything and leaves audience reaction finished
audience satisfied

Pacing Good use of pacing Occasionally correct Too slow, or too quick
and pausing speed

Body Language Fluid movement and Uses some movement Exhibits nervousness;
gestures used to and gestures, some gestures and
enhance action without nervousness movement are non-
detracting from words existent or
inappropriate for task

Facial Uses to show emotions Shows some Very little or


Expression and moods and expression inappropriate
generates strong expression
audience enthusiasm

Voice and Use of precise, fluid Some inflection, some Mostly monotone voice,
Delivery speech and inflection, difficulty being heard mumbles. Heard by
maintains the interest and understood. Heard only people in front of
of the audience. Heard by most of the room.
by all audience easily audience most of the
all the time. time.

Eye Contact Holds attention of entire Looks at some of the Mostly no eye contact
audience with direct audience with audience.
contact

Poise & Posture Relaxed, self- Tells even though Doesn’t stand straight.
confident, enjoying. nervous. Makes Quits if makes a
Covers any mistakes mistakes and stumbles mistake.
so unknown to due to them. Corrects
audience. self if not standing
straight.

Audience Polite, attentive, and Usually polite, attentive, Impolite, inattentive,


responsive when and responsive, but and unresponsive most
appropriate. Sat with spoke or distracted 1 or of the time. Sat with
eyes on presenter and 2 times. Sat with eyes eyes not on presenter
head up. on presenter and/or or head down most of
head up most of the the time.
time.