AtmosphereUsually, a certain atmosphere is already present in the place or can be designed to create a pleasant setting for storytelling. Some examples:
- for a story set in an oriental room, you can arrange the room accordingly with cloths, cushions, lamps or other accessories and, if that is possible, offer a tea
- for a story in which smells, tastes, sounds play an essential role, you can bring them with you.
- for a story where you want to develop deep feelings, e.g. compassion, you can use a blindfold(s).
- for a story in a specific landscape, you can print some pictures on big posters and hang them all around the room.
- You can also describe the setting of the story in the beginning, ask your listeners to close their eyes for this. For example: “Imagine being at the sea. You can hear the seagulls screeching, the waves rolling ashore. You can breathe and taste the slightly salty air, you feel the light breeze on your skin, your face…”
Trust, openness and mutual appreciation
However, the atmosphere in the group of learners is at least as important, especially if you want to actively involve and motivate them to share their own thoughts, experiences and stories. The listeners should feel comfortable not only spatially but also socially. Trust, openness and mutual appreciation both among learners and between teachers and learners are the prerequisites for this. Small warm-up or icebreaker ▾ exercises are also useful if the group already knows each other: they loosen up the atmosphere, are fun, make people laugh and convey a good sense of community.