Tell a story

A story worth telling is worth telling well.  The purpose of a story is to draw the listener in, making him or her an active participant. Use these pointers to improve your story telling.

Download Story Telling Tips

How do you learn a story?

NEVER memorize a story!  Instead, learn it until it becomes a part of you, so that when you tell it you are conveying something you believe in and feel.

  1. Know why you are telling it!  What do you want to convey and who is your audience?
  2. Read through the story (if it’s written) or go through the story in your mind (if it’s oral or a personal story) several times.
  3. Decide what the main points of the story are that contribute to this theme.  Know where the climax is, and what actions lead up to it.
  4. Add the details that make the story interesting (but not too detailed or confusing).   Hang those details onto the main points of the story.
  5. Think about where you would pause as you’re telling the story.  Where would you speak more loudly, or more softly – more quickly, or more slowly?
  6. Practice the story on someone else or in front of a mirror at least 7 times before you tell it to your audience!
  7. As you practice the story, thinking about its theme, some thought provoking questions for your audience may come to mind.  If you’re having trouble coming up with good, simple questions, here are some of our favorites that can be used with any story and will hopefully get your audience to start talking.
    • What did you like about this story?
    • What bothered you about this story?
    • What did you learn about yourself/people from this story?
    • How does this story apply to your life?

These questions usually help an audience start talking, but here are some other questions that we have sometimes found helpful:

    • What are the decisions that the characters made in this story?  Why do you think they made those decisions?
    • If the characters had made different decisions, how would the story have ended differently?
    • If you were _________, how would you have felt?  How would you have acted differently?