Remember those days back in school where we had storytelling competitions?
You had to stand in front of everyone on the stage, and tell that “Hare and Tortoise” story with those props – a rabbit stuffed doll and a tortoise figure.
Oh how we hated the sickening butterflies fluttering in our stomach. No one said there was going to be so many people in the audience. How we practiced and rehearsed until Mommy too remembers the whole story.
Little did we know that that story telling competition is one of the most crucial skills we need to learn to be a grown up. Here are three reasons why.
The most straightforward reason would be – presentation skills.
In storytelling, we learn to play with our voice – the volume, the tone, the speed. These are three key things we need to master with our voice in doing presentations.
When the lion ROARS, our volume gets loud to express strength. During presentations, there are times we want to sound louder than others, to stress a particular point. Playing with volumes can also avoid our speech sounding monotonous.
When we are doing a man’s voice, our tone gets lower, and when doing a child’s voice, our tone gets higher. When communicating an idea, lowering our tone makes us sound more serious, especially for ladies. Watch how the newscasters read the news, you will notice that they lower the tone of their voices – don’t you think they just sound intelligent?
When telling a threatening scene, we tend to speak faster. This is the same with doing speeches, sometimes we want to hasten the speed, or to slower down, in order to emphasize a particular idea.
And don’t forget your body language. In storytelling, our face has to work with the emotions, to extend the feelings to our audience. The arms extend, cower, go up and down, to enhance a scene. The same needs to be done when doing presentations, these body language will engage us with the audience.
The second importance of storytelling is – imagination.
When storytelling, one must imagine the scenes through their head, and learn how to convey it to the audience. This is particularly important when doing presentations, too. You must understand the idea you want to communicate through your speech, and think about how to pass that same passion to the audience. Remember, doing presentations is never about us – it is about the audience. Always remember they are asking in their minds, “Why should I care?” when listening to your presentation.
And the last, but not least importance of storytelling is – empathy.
There are dozens of researches going around showing that people who read more, have a lot more empathy, than those who read less. They are more articulate, they know more vocabs, and hence they are aware and can feel more emotions than the usual happy, sad or angry. There’s jealousy, melancholy, despair, overwhelmed, blissful, unamused – so many words out there showing subtly different meanings. If you didn’t know such words existed, you would never know such feelings do exist, so how can you be empathetic?
So if you have children, encourage them to read, and tell stories. As adults, spend more time reading story books out loud to children. It will improve your three voice manipulation skills (volume, tone, speed), and it will definitely be good for them to grow up as humans. The time spent in storytelling is always a precious one, for both the reader, and the audience.
I recommend books like this Stories From Around The World. The pictures are well designed so you can show while telling the scene, helping younger children understand new vocabularies faster. This is not a sponsored comment, only my personal opinion.