On Monday I completed the first project from the Storytelling manual (from the Toastmasters Advanced Communication series). The objective was to tell a folktale. I found this to be an interesting and challenging project.
The most difficult part was choosing a story. There are a lot of folktales out there. Wikipedia has a huge list. I read a lot of stories trying to find something that I liked.
I chose The Emperor’s New Clothes by Hans Christian Anderson. I love the morality in this story that comes through the hidden agendas of the characters. The vain Emperor. The sycophantic falseness of courtiers and subjects. And the tailors who turn out to be con artists. The only character who is genuine is the little boy.
I had an excellent evaluation with three main recommendations:
Tight body language
I keep getting this recommendation. I look tense on stage. My gestures constricted and my shoulders are hunched. I loosen up towards the end of the speech. For future speeches I need to push myself to use more expansive gestures early on.
My evaluator pointed out that I had a lot of opportunity to use voices to enhance the dialogue. Most of the voices sounded the same. I could have experimented with accents and pitch.
Use of the Stage
I stayed in the centre of the stage for the hole speech. There was oportunity to break up parts of the speech by moving to different parts of the stage. For future speeches I should probably include stage directions in the script.