Guidelines in assessing an audience:
Telling a story is one part of storytelling, the audience is another
Are your listeners adults, teenagers, or children?
Different age groups prefer different types of presentations.
Type of audience.
Are they boys, girls, men, women, a mixture of all?
What are the social and intellectual levels of your listeners?
What they like
Younger children enjoy presentations with plot and action.
Older children and adults like presentations with humour and interplay.
All ages enjoy rhythm and movement of events in presentations.
Stories should be well paced, with few slow and no dull spots.
Learning the Story
Once you have selected a story, read it through thoroughly for pleasure, at first.
Then read it over and over, analyzing its structure.
What is the story?
How does the action flow?
Visualize the presentation,
part by part.
Become familiar with the scenes and characters and points you wish to make.
Senses make it realer
Use your senses to feel, taste, hear and see the story.
This will help you to give descriptions as you tell it.
Learn the story.
You won’t be reading your story to your audience, you’ll be telling it from memory.
It’s not necessary to memorize the story word for word – only the images and actions you want to convey to your audience.
It is helpful to memorize the beginning and ending to a story, however, so you can be sure that your retelling starts and ends well.
Also, memorize any special phrases or rhymes that are critical to the presentation.
When you really know the story, you’re ready to practice.
Remember, your goal is to convey the story to your listeners.
Rehearse aloud, so you can hear and feel the story.
As you practice, pay attention to tempo.
The tempo of your story should vary according to the action.
Eliminate parts that slow the presentation or aren’t necessary to its clear delivery.
As you tell it, act as if it’s the first time you’ve ever told it.
Show your interest in it through your facial expressions, body, and voice.
Be animated and energetic.
Make eye contact with your listeners.
Use your voice to reflect the different aspects of the presentation; but don’t be overly dramatic.
More techniques here