CHENNAI: India, though home to countless stories which were retained through repeated narrations over generations, has seen a slow fading of the art of storytelling with the advent of the printed word. To bring about a revival, Eric Miller founded the World Storytelling Institute in Chennai. He opines that storytelling enhances your confidence as it involves playing and acting out characters apart from narrating the story itself.
“A story is more than conveying information. Usually, the narrator adds his thoughts apart from delivering dialogues of others. And he has to change his voice and body language to become the person he is talking about. To do all this, the narrator has to critically analyse the whole story in his head to choose the right things to say and the order in which he will say it,” says Eric.
To usher in storytelling into daily communication, Eric Miller along with over 20 other storytellers would be conducting a series of workshops from February 12 to 14 at Dr MGR Janaki College for Women. The workshops on Friday are exclusively for students, while there is a two-day workshop over the weekend for adults. “The workshops on Friday are aimed at helping students get over the fear of public speaking. They would learn to narrate stories and also entertain their listeners,” says Miller.
Ruth Stotter, a California-based professional storyteller, who has performed, lectured, and led workshops in five continents, explains that parents can use storytelling as a tool to teach their kids absolutely any subject.
“Between a lecture and a story, people tend to remember the contents of a story even after many years than just a banal explanation. Moreover, the narrator develops a compassion for the listener considering the latter is not familiar with the idea or story,” says Ruth, the co-host of the Chennai Storytelling workshop.
Ruth and Eric have unorthodox exercises lined up at the workshops during the festival that would help participants get over their fear of public speaking. They expect attendees to go back and create a ‘storytelling revolution’ by making their communications interesting. For details:
February 13 and 14
Workshop for adults
Fee: Rs 500 a day if you register before Feb 13 or Rs 600 otherwise
Telling your life story as an inward journey of transformation
Elective specialised workshops
Telling grandmother’s stories and creating original stories
What to Expect?
Friday, February 12
Workshop for Students
Fee: Rs 50 Storytelling Basics Narrating events, Identifying and performing Turning points
Storytelling for Personality Development
Finding one’s Mission in Life
Working in social media