Saturday, February 21, 2009

For the Love of Story

Most storytellers that I know personally share their love of stories by sharing from their heart. Most of the storytellers I have met through the years shared their stories from the heart. Along the way I met a few who didn’t quite get it. Those few won’t go far. The audience can sense it when the teller isn’t reaching out to them – to meet them halfway.

When I share a story, it must come from somewhere within me, not just from the brain. It comes from deep down inside my heart and soul. If I select a folktale to share with my audience, I must search long and hard to find the right story that will touch me. If it doesn’t reach out to grab me, I certainly cannot share it with my audience because it isn’t a part of me. It isn’t a part of my heart and soul.

Recently I presented an Oral History program at the NC Outer Banks with a great group of eager listeners in the audience. It was a fun experience for all. By the way, it was an adult audience and I love opportunities to work with adults. Grownups become “children at heart” again when they are taken back in time with stories and memories. As a former children’s librarian I have presented programs to all age levels.

Next month I will be traveling near the Outer Banks to present several more programs. This time I will have the opportunity to speak to another adult audience as well as visit several groups of students. So my time is filling up with fine-tuning my upcoming programs to fit the right audience. It is very important for any public speaker or storyteller to know his or her audience.