International Program

Unsung Stories

 

TIPS FOR GOOD STORYTELLING

1. Jump right in!

Getting started can be intimidating. Often the best way to begin is to just hit record and start speaking. Some of the best stories are told in the first try, other times they require you to jot them down on paper first and rehearse it before recording. Don’t think about it too much, see where your imagination takes you. It’s okay if you get lost or tangled up. Taking notes or making various recordings can all aid the process.

 

2. What is your story about?

No matter what form your story takes, it has a message at its heart. What are you trying to communicate to your audience? Working this out can help guide you through the creative process and allow you to focus on the important elements of your story. You can use a mind map, post-it notes or even by just start recording and speak your story aloud. This will help you work out what you want your audience to feel, and the best way to tell your story.

 

3. Be flexible

Your first recording could be your best, but it’s okay if this isn’t the case. Give it your best shot, and if it isn’t working, take a break and come back to it. Always aim to convey your story clearer and more concise with each attempt. Remember you are trying to tell a captivating story.

 

4. Seeking Feedback

Be kind to yourself, you will always be your harshest critic. Once you have decided on your story, perhaps tell it to someone you trust to get feedback, but make sure you choose someone supportive. Feedback can hurt sometimes, but don't let this deter you. Use it to improve your story. The people around you want you to succeed, trust the process. (See example questions below).

 

5. React and Revise

Once you have decided which feedback is the most useful, use it to revise your story until you have a story you are happy with.

 

6. Lights, Camera, Action!

You are now ready to speak your piece to the camera. Just relax, record, and submit!

 

 

Useful Resources:

https://www.masterclass.com/articles/how-to-tell-a-story-effectively

https://www.ted.com/playlists/62/how_to_tell_a_story

https://www.nytimes.com/guides/smarterliving/how-to-tell-a-good-story

https://www.khanacademy.org/computing/pixar/storytelling/we-are-all-storytellers/a/activity-1

 

Questions to ask yourself, and those providing feedback:

  • Were there moments in the story where you felt lost or confused?
  • Did the storyteller choose the best way to tell this story?
  • Did the story help you to understand and empathise with the storyteller? 
  • Did this feel like an important story to the storyteller?
  • Did you connect with the storyteller through the story?
  • Did the story make you feel any emotion?

 

In partnership with the National Foundation for 

Australia-China Relations 

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