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The art of storytelling
Dulinda Pieters

We’re all storytellers and naturally use storytelling in one form or another every day – talking to neighbours, sharing secrets or recalling something dramatic, exciting or traumatic from our day. Sometimes we do it in an entertaining, or dramatic, or impressive way. Children love stories! Sharing stories is an essential part of their development, for sheer enjoyment and not only for the launch pad offered into reading and writing. Stories tell us so much about the world we live in and the people and animals we share it with. Story time is an exciting time for children as they settle down in an expectant mood, ready to have their imaginations stimulated.


Storytelling is an art that has mental, social and educational benefits for children. People of all ages enjoy stories and children love to listen to them. Storytelling can take the form of reading stories aloud to them or just telling a story from memory. It is becoming a lost art today as many parents find very little time to spend with children.

What makes the difference?

Adding feeling or emotion when you tell a story is probably the most important factor. How do we do it? Generally we remember the feeling of the event or imagine what our characters might be feeling and then adjust our “delivery” accordingly.

How do we adjust our delivery?

Tone of voice

Loud/soft voice


Facial expression

Body language


Hand gestures

Refining your skills as a storyteller

Refining your skills is a matter of gathering feedback, trying different things and practising. People aren’t born with a ‘gift’ for storytelling. We learn the skills just as we acquire any other art form.

How to tell a story

Whether you are telling a story to a classroom of students, a group of children at a library or just a bedtime story to your own children, you are helping to build their interest in books and their grasp of language. Stories allow children to use their imagination, to enter worlds or lives not their own. Along the way, they also learn about narrative, characters, events, conflict resolution and even absorb values which help to shape their morals and character. Most people fondly recall their favourite childhood story.

It’s not just about the story but HOW the story is told that matters most!

It’s the emotional connection we have with the end product.

It’s the Magic behind the memorable moments that leave such lasting impressions.

It’s about the art and science of experience.

Creating experiences worth coming back to!

Great stories are all around us.

In order to truly innovate, we must first have understanding.

Discover, design, develop, deploy.

It’s about discovering the story.

All good stories have an intimate connection with the lead character.



First published in the Kleuterklanke October 2013.

Website by Ontoweb Media and Information Systems