Here are a few storytelling tips for mental fitness, better relationships, and healthy brain aging:
- Get excited
Storytelling is a performance and you need energy and enthusiasm to tell a good story. Get passionate, even if it seems silly.
You can hear a person smiling. When a person tells a story with a smile on their face, subtle intonations in voice change. If you are smiling, you will choose different words. Remember, storytelling is entertainment -- it should be fun.
Pick one story every morning that will be your story for the day. When someone calls or comes over -- you will be ready with your story. Be so excited to tell it that you are just bursting. Your listener will look forward to visiting with you and hearing your stories.
- Make it Short
Stories can go on and on -- keep yours short and punchy. A good story does not have to be long.
- Lots of Details
Pay attention during your day or while remembering an event from the past. Include details like the clothes people wore, how they moved, and what things felt like. Don't say "She seemed upset" say "She had fire coming out of her eyes." Liven things up with detail and description.
- Use Emotions
Don't just stick to the facts, they are usually pretty boring -- tell the emotions you were feeling. Talk about why you felt that way, what memories it brought back. Emotions are always interesting subjects.
- Have Characters
The check-out person, the mailman, the plumber -- all can become characters in your story. Learn to notice and appreciate the wonderful quirks that everyone has. Describe these people, thinking about what they must have been thinking.
- Don't Think It Isn't Interesting
Anything can be interesting if it is well told. Don't worry that no great drama has happened to you lately -- storytelling is more about how you tell something than what you are telling.