- 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.
- 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.
- 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:
- It’s a story. (Not a rant, philosophical statement, poem, …)
- It’s a true story from the teller’s own life. (Not someone else’s story.)
- About 10 minutes.
- No notes or other pre-written material.
- IF YOU ARE RECORDING:
- The MC should announce that any storyteller can opt-out of being recorded.
- 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.
- TIMEKEEPER. Assign a timekeeper to give 5-minute, 2-minute and ‘wrap-it-up’ hand signals. We don’t actually cut people off.
- RESPECT. Let the storyteller have the spotlight, without audience commentary.
>> Continue to the final section: “Recording & Submitting the Stories”