I have recently discovered that telling a great story is actually an art form. Not everyone is good at it. In my family both of my grandfathers were awesome storytellers, so as I was growing up, I studied the way they would tell stories, and how they would use such an incredible amount of enthusiasm in recalling events from their past. Many friends have told me that I am a good storyteller as well, so I thought it might be fun to give you five ideas for improving your storytelling ability.
1. Be enthusiastic
Telling a story should be fun for you! Let your friends and family know that what happened was, cool, unique, fun, and that you are actually reliving it in your mind as you tell them about it. Using hand motions and pantomimes are also a huge plus! If you are describing the size of something use your hands to show it. If you are speaking about a conversation that took place over the phone, pretend to be actually talking on the phone, complete with a hand held up to your ear!
2. Be detailed!
One of the great parts about the art of storytelling is that people actually doubly enjoy hearing it if you include more details about what happened. Seriously, if you remember things like the weather outside at the time, and the song you were listening to on your iPod the morning of the event took place, it adds a lot of flavor to the story. Remembering the exact date and time that the story occurred is also a huge plus!
3. Use different voices
If you story involves dialog between you and another friend, family member, or even a complete stranger, be sure to use a different voice inflection for when you are telling your audience what the other person said on their end of the discussion. This allows your audience to keep track easier of who said what, and how each person reacted to what was said.
4. Know how to build suspense to a climax
This goes hand in hand with being detailed in telling your stories. The more background information you give, the more build up you have to draw your audience into your tale. Take them along on the journey with you, as you describe an event or conversation you had. Then as you build up to the crux of your story, they will be captivated and waiting to hear what happened next!!
5. Be sure to give God the glory when it applies
“Your word is a lamp to my feet, and a light to my path” (Psalm 119:105)
Our life stories should reflect that, thus it is important to tell others when God intersects our paths and becomes a huge part of our stories, as He has a way of jumping in to our lives and writing and re-writing the stories of our lives in ways we could never imagine or dream! This always is a way of encouraging your story hearers, that God can intervene in the stories of their lives as well!
So there in a nutshell are some ideas to tell better stories when one pops into your head over lunch with a friend or at a party when many friends surround you. Never be afraid to share a story, you just may encourage someone right at a point in their own life story that they need it!