What keeps most social relationships connected  these days?  A software. And it’s name? Zoom. But before six months most people weren’t even aware that such a software existed. Today Zoom has become a common word as if we have lived with it for many years.

This transformation is something that I couldn’t have even imagined in my wildest dreams. For, when I started online storytelling via Zoom in November, 2019 not many took it seriously but today the whole world is raving about Zoom. At times I do wonder if many are thinking I started this virus and the lockdown to boost my programs. I assure you I am a common man and have no access to create pandemics.  Well, Why am I writing this?

Every storyteller has now moved online and are delivering stories there. With the extended lockdown, it is not going to be a surprise that more online events are on the offing. This blog post is to provide certain consideration that every storyteller needs to be aware of while giving their performances through videoconferencing. These will ensure a power packed performance.

I am currently doing a series called Brighten Goes to School. Here are snapshots and video snippets of these storytelling sessions that shows how the implementation of the below techniques will have an impact on your sessions. When you understand how to handle yourself and your audience during an online session you will deliver stories powerfully in such a way no children would want to shut the camera off and do something else.

Performing a very funny scene during a Brighten Goes to School session
Children interacting about the lockdown

Do you want to be a part of Brighten Goes to school. Write to alvinstoryteller@gmail.com or Whatsapp: 9551762399

5 Steps to tell stories easily via zoom

1.Check your Internet Connectivity

If you have a wired internet connection then you needn’t worry much as they are steadier than WI-Fi or Data connections. But if you are connecting your device to a WI-FI connection or if you are going to use your hotspot or data connection ensure that you choose a place in your home where the strength of the network signal is strong.

2.Have your materials organized

Make a checklist of the materials you require for the session and have them properly arranged. If you are telling a story and you are using puppets take utmost considerations in having them next to you and in the right order. If the children see you confused and struggling with your materials there is a higher chance that they will turn off their camera and microphone and begin to do something else.

When you are using power point presentations, have them opened in your taskbar. This will save you time and will prevent children from getting distracted.

3. Be Confident

While delivering your story online, you have to be very confident and energetic. This doesn’t mean that you have to shout at the top of your voice. Here being confident and positive implies that you believe in your story. You have trust in your abilities.

Rehearse your story up to the extent that you are comfortable with the flow of the story. This will prevent fumbles while you are performing. 

As a storyteller you must consider yourself as a man on a mission and you have a destination in mind.  You must become an inspiring leader who takes his audience forward. Thus in my online sessions I make it a point to be very energetic for I know if my energy drops then it will also bring down the energy level in my audience and will leave them disinterested.

4. Visualize Your Audience’s Reaction

Most storytellers while doing live shows on  stage tend to alter their stories or shape their stories based on the audience reaction. There have been many occasions when I have stopped a story short because the audience were enjoying that particular story or I have repeated a particular rhyme because audience were loving it.

But this is not possible in an online session. The flexibility of altering your story based on the audience’s reaction is a luxury that a face to face session possesses but when it comes to online you need to think of yourself as a YouTuber or a radio talk show host who knows how the audience would react and plans accordingly. This is because one cannot measure audience interest in a video conferencing platform.

Thus you need to rehearse keeping in mind how your audience would react to a particular joke or an interaction. The best way to do is to put yourself in the audience shoes while planning your story.

5. The Muted Interactions

This is the last point I want to write about. When I do my session I mute all the microphones except mine. This will help the audience to get a seamless session otherwise the background noises would kill the show. Thus one has to get used to telling a story without hearing the laughter and the applause of the audience and to be satisfied by watching the lips and the hand movements.

These are a few considerations you need to consider. If you have questions on online storytelling or if you want me to explain a certain point in detail do write to me at alvinstoryteller@gmail.com

THE 5 MINUTE STORYTELLER – Storytelling Workshop for Adults

 My online stories on Facebook are well known for being short and powerful. You can watch them here. In this workshop I will teach how you can also do the same. How you can structure your story so powerfully that you can deliver your story with great impact in just 5 minutes.

This workshop will happen from June 1 to 12 (Monday to Friday) – 10 days

Time: 6.30pm to 8pm (Indian Standard time)

Workshop cost: Rs. 5000.

To register fill the form below and say “I would like to register for the workshop.”