Having trouble telling an engaging story? In case you have social anxiety, you may not have much experience telling stories. Your fear of being the center of focus has held you back from offering more than a sentence or two at a time.
Here are 6 ways to overcome your nerves and become a great storyteller.
Vary your speed and volume
In addition to making sure you aren’t speaking too fast, you should also try to alternate the rate of which you speak. Speed up to your parts that are exciting and slow down to add drama. Kind of like creating tension in music theory.
You can speak quietly or loudly to add emphasis. Be sure that you don’t speak so softly that others find it difficult to hear, and not so loud you blow ears out.
Leverage the power of imagination
Part of your job as a storyteller is to paint a picture for your listeners. Ask them to imagine something special in your story. “Imagine this for a second…” is an excellent phrase to get you started.
Remember that even the most celebrated storytellers’ practice. Don’t be afraid to practice your story multiple times before taking it out in public. You have an opportunity to iron out some of the issues noted above and will gain confidence.
Keep It Concise
There’s nothing worse than listening to someone ramble on with a narrative that appears to have no end and no point. If you tell these kinds of stories, you may soon find your audience nodding off.
Keep your audience intrigued and interested by adhering to information and making your narrative. Instead of going into excruciating detail, power your stories with colourful words that paint an image to communicate your message.
Highlight Emotional Elements
Engage the listener’s emotions. Whether you evoke sadness or happiness, anger or surprise, eliciting emotions helps to keep the listener attentive. The best stories, whether it’s in books, movies, games, or music, evoke emotion. Make the narrative come alive as opposed to merely sticking to the facts; be sure to talk about how you felt and how others felt as a consequence of the events which took place.
You might be tempted to rush through your story In case you have social anxiety. Try to practice telling your story at a reasonable pace. Go slow so that your listeners have enough time.
If you’re not sure whether you are speaking too fast, try recording your voice or taking a movie, or even asking a family member or friend about your rate of speech.
Poke fun at yourself and no one else
Saying things about yourself through a story is a great way to make your listeners comfortable. But do not poke fun at those around you. Don’t tell stories that make others feel bad about themselves or need to stick up for themselves. Telling a story that gets a laugh at the expense of somebody else shows selfishness and thoughtlessness.