Are you up to speed with all the technicalities of storytelling, but still feel stuck in the locks at the thought of getting on stage?
It’s simply not enough to only have your story structured on paper, or memorized, and expect to deliver to the expectations you set for yourself. Stories come alive in the telling, in the act of delivery. Here are three tips for how to practice your storytelling on your own so that you feel more confident and grounded in bringing your story alive.
Say your story out aloud and alone to start with, over and over. Keep your breath conscious and active! Each time you repeat this, explore different ways to express and deliver each word and sentence to discover different delivery nuances as you begin to embody your story.
Record yourself telling the story. Then imagine you are your intended audience and listen to, or watch yourself. Simply notice if the story makes sense to you and if you are moved in any way. Make mental or written notes and then repeat the recording and iterate your story. This will also help you begin to shed the layers of inhibition and fear of telling the story in front of your audience.
Stand in front of a mirror and deliver your story. Notice how you unconsciously or intentionally use your body; your arms, hands, facial expressions, how far you lean into or away from the mirror. Also notice your voice and the choices of expression that accompany it. Play with variation in both your body and your voice, and in this way, you develop expressive range.
Remember that when you are telling a story, in a very real sense, you are performing your story. Hone your performance. Practice.