Storytelling is an art...but MORE than that, it is a gift...I mean, a gift GIVEN.

Stories are also one of the greatest teaching tools...This is overlooked by far too many.

Kevin Cordi, award-winning storyteller, teacher and author, can speak on this subject much better than I and pack more useful information in short paregraphs...So pay attention:

Telling a story is a lot like giving a gift.
Stories can be used to identify unfamiliar terms and broach new ideas. They can be used to present culture. They can be used to enrich our lives. A Cheyenne storyteller once said, “Stories are gifts. It is up to us to give and receive them.” Every gift of a story contains three elements:

The Beginning: Unwrapping.
Special gifts are always wrapped. As you prepare a story, try to ensure that the beginning does not delay the exposition of the action. It should grab the reader from the first sentence or from the very first word. Avoid predictable beginnings such as “Once upon a time.” Instead, inject some unexpected flavor: “Once when there was no time, ….”

The Gift.
The present revealed when the wrapping is removed should justify the recipient’s eagerness to open it. As the story’s beginning builds anticipation, it’s middle should resolve it. To be effective, a story must have conflict and a dominant idea or purpose. In addition to relating a problem and its solution, a memorable tale must convey some sort of mission. Guide your listeners on a journey of discovery that leads them to uncover the mission for themselves.

The Conclusion: Rewrapping.
Like a precious gift stowed away, stories should be “rewrapped” for savoring later on. Avoid predictable exit lines such as “The End.” Try to leave the listener with an intriguing or provocative conclusion. Stories neatly rewrapped become gifts for another day.

When you tell someone a story, you give them a gift that no one else can. Share your gifts far and wide!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Kevin Cordi, a professional storyteller, is also a storytelling and writing teacher in Ohio and California. He is the Executive Director of the National Youth Storytelling Olympics. Visit Kevin Cordi’s site,