Storytelling Guidelines

True Tales

True stories, told by the people who’ve lived them.

Guidelines for storytellers:

  1. Know your story. Plan a route (start – finish), plan a structure, and use notes for rehearsal. Gradually, tell it with fewer and fewer notes until you are comfortable telling it fluently alone. If possible, record yourself telling it and listen back so you can hear it as an audience member would.Each story should be around 5-7 minutes long.
  2. Give it a concrete close. The same, of course, applies to your closing line. Nothing can kill a story more than trailing off with ‘yeah, so, that’s it really’! Make sure you have a solid, conclusive line to end on – this will be the icing on the cake for a really great story.
  3. Start in the action. Use an opening line that will grab your audience’s attention, and then go back to the beginning if you need to.
  4. Tell it from the heart. Feel free to script your story to ensure it flows and by all means, use notes to rehearse the telling of your story but we do ask that you leave the notes behind when it comes to the event…it’s your story so tell it from the heart!
  5. Avoid…Stand-up comedy. We all love a good laugh, but be aware that a stand-up routine is something quite different. A story is even funnier when the teller doesn’t realise it! Self Promo. As soon as a storyteller starts plugging something else during their slot, the story loses its conviction. Of course that is not to say you shouldn’t take advantage of your audience, so feel free to network afterwards and we are more than happy to include promotion of your personal endeavours in the programme for the event, but please leave it out of your story.
  6. Enjoy! The beauty of being told a true story is that the audience gets to learn a little about the teller and the experiences they’ve had, which then sparks memories and emotions of our own. What really brings this to life is if we see you truly remembering the story as you tell it! Relax, and tell your story as though you’re telling it for the first time…

Thank you for your involvement and I look forward to hearing your story!

Alison Ford, Producer

Collision Theory Theatre


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