Module -Storytelling

How do I select a story?

The storyteller identifies competences to work on, selects a story that seems helpful for that purpose, or selects a story and identifies the competences the story may help developing and then decides to confirm/reject the selection of the story.

What do we mean by "story"?

Source: Wisamar Bildungsgesellschaft
The word "tell" is used in the most diverse contexts. Someone tells how to fix a bicycle puncture, another tells a joke and a third tells about the benefits of pension savings. It is used for everything from dance performances and brands to disease diagnoses and political visions. Words like story and narrator have become value words that give a sense of authenticity and quality to what you are talking about. When the words are used for such widely differing activities, however, the meaning becomes vague. Therefore, it is necessary to define how they are used here.


A story consists of a series of events that are presented in a coherent and meaningful way. In oral narration, the narrator participates in person and in direct interaction with the listener present, and uses voice, language and gestures to create a series of mental images or scenes for the events that make up the story.

Three types of stories:
  • Life stories:
    Stories that the teller (you, learners ...) have experienced themselves, memories, anecdotes ...
  • Fantasies – improvised:
    Stories that you, the learners or all together develop ad hoc.
  • Existing stories (e.g. traditional stories)
    Stories of other actors/protagonists that are passed on in oral, written or otherwise media-processed form. Discover our StoryComp Story collection! ▾

  • In this course we focus mainly on working with existing stories, the third group. These have the advantage of providing a common base to build on and work with in order to learn and practice the different aspects of oral storytelling and to develop one's own storytelling skills.

    An inspiring approach: life stories and fantasies

    Of course, both personal stories and invented, improvised stories lend themselves extremely well to adult education work. By encouraging learners to tell stories, they have the opportunity to ... However, it usually takes some encouragement to engage all participants in storytelling.
    ... Some may feel that they have nothing exciting to tell - in this case, small stimuli are often enough to jog the memory and bring interesting things to light.
    ... Some may feel that they are not good at telling stories - in this case, small storytelling exercises are often enough to show what a good story needs and what makes it exciting.
    ...Some may not want to share certain experiences - that's perfectly fine. A basic approach is that we ourselves are the creators of our story(s) and decide what we tell to whom and how.
    ...Some people may not dare to speak in front of the whole group - in this case it is a good idea to gradually increase the audience for the individual storyteller, starting with storytelling in pairs, then small groups and - at some point - the whole group.

    In the chapter How can I support my learners in competence development? ▾ you will learn more about how to support your learners in developing their storytelling skills.
    Here you will also find small exercises that stimulate creativity and provide an easy introduction to storytelling.