Hosting Guide: During the Party

  1. PREPARE SPACE. Prep the space with good lighting (light on the storyteller, dim on the audience), background music for non-storytime, plenty of chairs or cushions to maximize seating.
  2. SIGN-UPS. Have a storyteller sign-up list on a whiteboard or circulating around the room. (Alternatively, add names to a hat for a surprise order.)
    If you’re recording the stories, storytellers write their email addresses too.
  3. MASTER/MISTRESS of CEREMONIES. Choose a good MC to welcome everyone, give the ground rules, introduce storytellers between each act, and encourage sign-ups if there are openings. Remember the rules:
    1. It’s a story. (Not a rant, philosophical statement, poem, …)
    2. It’s a true story from the teller’s own life. (Not someone else’s story.)
    3. About 10 minutes.
    4. No notes or other pre-written material.
  4. IF YOU ARE RECORDING:
    1. The MC should announce that any storyteller can opt-out of being recorded.
    2. Explain that stories might be published on a podcast and the Internet, so last names or other personal information shouldn’t be spoken to help preserve anonymity. We only attach first names or pseudonyms to our stories.
  5. TIMEKEEPER. Assign a timekeeper to give 5-minute, 2-minute and ‘wrap-it-up’ hand signals. We don’t actually cut people off.
  6. RESPECT. Let the storyteller have the spotlight, without audience commentary.

>> Continue to the final section: “Recording & Submitting the Stories”