Beyond Storytelling 101
Have you been telling stories for some time already and wondered how you can improve your storytelling skills? If yes, then Beyond Storytelling 101 is for you! Beyond Storytelling 101 aims to enhance participants’ ability to adapt stories for telling and to hone their delivery skills over 12 hours of coaching.
- How to choose and adapt stories for performance
- Telling for children vs. telling for adults
- Vocal skills: speech clarity, projection, expressiveness
- Presentation skills: awareness of body language, use of gestures, working with props/visual aids
- Rehearsal skills: regarding different methods of preparation
- Performance skills: physical & vocal warm-ups, how to overcome nerves, coping with gaffes
- Participants who are able to communicate fluently in English are welcome.
- Please come dressed in loose, comfortable clothing so that you will not feel constricted while doing the various breathing and vocal exercises.
- Please have ready 2 stories that you would like to learn to tell or to improve the telling of.
- Please make available a fair-sized room that can easily accommodate all the workshop participants and the facilitator (seated in a circular formation). Please make sure that any other tables and chairs are stored against the wall or outside the room so that the participants have space to move freely about the space when they do the various exercises.
- Please make sure that the room has been vacuumed thoroughly before the workshop. The participants will be doing deep breathing exercises; thus a dusty environment would not be conducive at all.
- Please provide a large whiteboard and pens as well as access to computer/computer projection to show PowerPoint slides.
- Please make copies of hand-outs that will be emailed to prior to the workshop. The hand-outs are to be given to the participants at the end of the workshop.
Participants’ Feedback on Verena Tay’s Beyond Storytelling 101 Course (2012)
“The tools given to improve breathing, change voice, tone and volume at the right time, articulation and intonation. Awareness of our body movements, facial expressions and body language. Exchange of constructive criticism coming from you and fellow students. Handouts with relevant information. Useful voice and facial exercises, standing positions. Thank you very much for teaching us all these wonderful new things.”
“Preparing our voice, using the exercise and projection of voice, warming up the body. Crafting the story, having a clear storyline. Knowing when to dramatise, when to hold back. Enjoying the story while telling! I think the last exercise, of using a personal anecdote to craft a story was an eye-opener. The workshop has been very rewarding and helpful.”
“The correct alignment, voice observations, & exercises. The different process for storytelling, the different techniques. What I learnt is very helpful. And there’s so much more to learn.”
“The technique. The perspective. It opened up a new world of characters, perspectives, control & discipline of telling a story.”
“I feel that I greatly benefited from the vocal skills training training. The taught us how to explore our articulators and I have gained a greater awareness of how I can manipulate my voice for more effective telling. It was a very enjoyable series of sessions that I believe have greatly helped me hone my craft, particularly in the use of intonation, gestures and body language. It was also humbling as it made me realise how much more there is to learn about the storytelling craft, how to engage the audience and bring them into the world of story. You are an excellent coach, thank you Verena!”
Participants’ Feedback on Verena Tay’s Beyond Storytelling 101 Course (2011)
“Your frank assessment of my presentation makes me want to be a better storyteller… I am grateful and thankful for opening your resources and expertise to groom us to be good storytellers. You are a great teacher.”
“All aspects of the workshop was beneficial but the one that struck me the most was learning to own the story and fleshing out the characters as how you see it.”
“The technical parts of voice-making and voice using. It’s exactly what I expected for… Instructor is very observant & sharp to notice the strength and weakness of the participants.”
“The different expressions/tone and body movements I can create with just a verb. This will definitely prove exciting for children who can imagine & create from movements. I learnt much. Thank you.”
“Experience the power of storytelling in this experiential workshop. See your story come to life.”
“Was lots of fun, thoroughly enjoyed it.”
“An enlightening experience!”
“The workshop was fabulous!! ... It’s been an eye opener in terms of what goes on behind the scenes to say a good story with impact. An absolute blessing to learn from a powerful storyteller like yourself !! Thanks ever so much!”
What aspects of this workshop benefitted you most?
“Vocal variety. Using action to create voice. The mouth exercise.”
“Theoretical aspects. Vocal practices. Performance appraisals — self & others.”
“The techniques of voice projection + vocal modulation.”
“1. The Voice Modulations. 2. How to Control body movement.”
“Understanding the importance of character placement in the story, the thought that if the character is real for you-then he is real for the audience, the importance of voice and other exercises.”
“Voice technique. Variation of the voice, using your body movement. Visualising the story, & telling it from a different angle.”
“Voice warm up, modulation. Narrative technique.”
Participants’ Feedback on Verena Tay’s Beyond Storytelling 101 Course (2010)
“I have learned the difference between theater and storytelling. More importantly, I learned a lot of new techniques: hot to change from one character to another faster within a story. The workshop structure is well organized. It’s great!”
“The vocal training & correct body alignment. Using different body movements to create different voices. Valuable feedback on my storytelling style. Feel that I have met my objective. Thank you very much for the valuable feedback. It really helps.”
Tang Souw Ngo
“Using different methods to project a character. Pointing out the weak points in my storytelling style.”
“Good feedback to scenarios. Actually going through the stages instead of the shortcuts. Seeing proper situations from peers – help us reflect.”
“Voice (diaphragmatic), warm up, voice exercises that helps me to narrate/portray characters ‘realistically’. Beneficial for teachers and people who want to perform/tell stories. Verena is knowledgeable and talented.”
“Helped me to gain confidence in a way that now I can look at the audience in stead of staring at the empty air.”
Participants’ Feedback on Verena Tay’s Beyond Storytelling 101 Course (2009)
“Allowed to develop my own style. Patience by Verena to guide me.”
“Some of the vocal exercises were helpful for making us aware of the need for vocal range.”
Ng Seng Chuan
“Great as it was.”
“The vocal exercises for better clarity. Feedback given by Verena on my ‘voice dropping’ & rhythm. The personal hours for extra coaching were good. I enjoyed the course, very useful. My confidence level has improved.”
“Voice-projection. How to tell a story in a ‘performing’ style. Crafting a personal tale into a ‘tellable’ story. Very specific and constructive comments which helped improved my storytelling.”
Lim Peng Peng
About the Facilitator
Verena Tay has spent more than 25 years acting, directing and writing for Singaporean English-language theatre. She has published three collections of plays and an anthology of short stories as well as edited two short story collections. In addition, Verena is an active storyteller-cum-storytelling coach and a co-founder of MoonShadow Stories. Possessing an MA in Voice Studies (Central School of Speech and Drama, 2005) and an MA in English Literature (National University of Singapore, 1993), she has been helping people to improve their communication skills since 2001 and currently teaches voice, speech and presentation skills at various local institutions.