Today, we talked about storytelling. We talked about how to use the plot line format to craft our stories so that our audience will be able to follow our thoughts.
It was a fun day today to tell each other stories (and to ring the bells, right, guys?) and talk about how we can strengthen our storytelling skills.
I think I should put this down in writing, just so your parents and others will understand:
In storytelling speeches, it’s okay to exaggerate or enhance a story. It’s even okay to lie. We’re telling a story – which is, by definition, fiction. So you’re not really lying. You’re just telling a story.
Mrs. Krajci’s disclaimer:
If you ever go to court and have to swear to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, the rules about storytelling do not apply.
If your parents ask you a question, the rules about storytelling do not apply (but you could use what you’ve learned to make it a good answer!)
Now that we’ve got that taken care of, let’s talk about how you start your stories.
Little kids will start out with
“Mom, do you know what happened?”
See? Even little kids know to start a speech with some suspense helps the story work better for the audience.
It’s a little more complex with a storytelling speech. When you build suspense in your audience, they will want to listen all the way to the end. In the middle school class, we talked a lot about endings. It’s your job to make sure all the loose ends are tied up.
You have to lay your groundwork from the very beginning for a good payoff at the end. Your introduction has to be directly tied to the end of the story. That’s why however crazy your story might be, you have to be in control of the story.
Your job as a storyteller is to create an emotion in your listeners. A speech is used to persuade your audience to do something. A story is emotional. We need to find ways to build emotion into a storytelling speech.
Mike Rowe and The Way I Heard It
Your homework assignment is to listen to a podcast by Mike Rowe called The Way I Heard It. You can choose any three episodes to listen to. Mike has a unique way of telling a story – you don’t know who Mike is talking about until the end, but you will find that he’s laid out the story with little hints even in the beginning to make the story work.
Your extra credit assignment is to listen to five different episodes of Mike’s podcasts in a row. Tell me what he does in stories that make you want to listen to his story. Or, if you don’t like Mike, tell me why you don’t like his format. (75 words)