Have you ever observed how restless children often become when a story is read to them? It may not necessarily be because they are tired but that the presentation is boring to them. If you want to make a good impression with your storytelling techniques with students begging you to tell them another one, these tips might help you out.
Enunciate clearly – Be sure to say the words clearly so that they will know what you are saying. If they don’t understand, then their attention will be quickly lost.
Show passion – Display excitement as you are telling the story. If you don’t show any, it’s for certain that they will follow your cues.
Use inflections in your voice – Don’t be monotonous. Aside from sounding dull, it may lull your listeners to sleep or make them totally disinterested in what you’re saying.
Don’t talk too loud – Use your inside voice. It should be soothing and comfortable to the hearers. If you notice a child putting their hands over their ears, that might be a signal to lower your voice.
Audience participation – If you see that the children are becoming restless ask questions to determine if they are paying attention. Reinforce key points if necessary for them to understand the story being read.
Move around – Don’t stand like a statue in one spot. Move around occasionally and use your arms and legs to emphasize a point. Be animated.
Good eye contact – Make sure you establish eye contact by looking at the students individually and collectively. This is also a good way to ascertain if the children are following the story or not.
Keep them in suspense – If the story is a particularly lengthy one, divide it into several sessions. Leaving them on the “edge of their seats” will make the anticipation even greater next time around.
Dress appropriately – Be neat in your appearance. You don’t want them distracted by your clothes if they are rumpled or looking rather worn from holes and tears. They might end up being more interested in your clothes than the story you are trying to tell. Children seem to take notice of everything and they don’t hesitate to ask questions.
And for a change of pace, if the story is historical in nature, dress up in clothes that may have been worn at that particular time. It brings the story to life.
Make telling a story something that will leave an indelible impression on a child’s mind. If that means acting goofy and letting your hair hang down, do it!!! It’s all about having fun in the learning process.
Personal experience and suggestions