Saturday, October 6, 2007

Telling to Children

Well, with my three performances on October 9, 10 and 12, I will have completed the first 15 of my Practicum. My target audience were senior adults and I truly learned much about this audience segment.

In the Spring 2008 semester, I will tell primarily to elementary and middle school audiences. Any suggestions that y'all may have regarding stories that go over well and method of delivery will be appreciated.

Of course, I have read many story books and guidance manuals, but I now know that experience is the main source of improvement.


Professional Storyteller Rachel Hedman said...

When telling for children, I use what I call the "storytelling math equation".

Let us say you will tell to seven-year-olds. Then minus one from the age (7-1=6) and this means that your stories on average would be about six minutes long for this is about the average attention span. If you have a 30-minute program. Then you will fill it with 6-minute or less stories.

Subtracting one from any child's age tends to work well. Once these kids turn adults, this equation doesn't work. Adults are all over the place!

Whatever age your audience, if you are going to tell personal stories, have the stories connect to the experiences of that age. For example, you wouldn't tell personal stories from your college years to middle schoolers or elementary schoolers. They can't fathom those experiences yet. You could tell stories about what you did at their age for you will have similar fears and excitements.

Until we tell again,

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Barnabus said...

Thanks much Rachel. Good advice for kiddie telling. I suppose that the K-I-S-S (Keep It Simple Stupid) Equation works just as well. After all, if the story is too complex and complicated it will be nutty to tell it to any age group.

Thanks much for your wisdom and mentoring.