Tale Of Two Frogs

Folk tales were undoubtedly the first human stories ever to be passed down from generation to generation. To be valuable enough to orally transmit for centuries or even millennia, folk tales must always reflect the key ethos of the tribal culture from which they originated. There are 3 critical plot elements that all good folk tales must contain:

1. Symbolic, one-dimensional characters that contrast each other in crucial ways (the two frogs headed in opposite directions).

2. A seemingly intractable dilemma, challenge, or conflict that confronts the characters (the desire to look into the future).

3. A resolution by the characters that imparts a moral lesson that reflects the social values of the story teller’s tribe to the audience (the frogs’ ultimate decision).

Watch the video above to see Toastmaster Sherry Lu deliver a delightful speech for AC Story Telling Project #1 The Folk Tale. Pay heed to how Sherry’s lilting vocal style really sets the whimsical mood for this lighthearted tale. Notice how her gestures and movements emphasizes the key actions in the story without being distracting. She admirably launches herself FEARLESSLY into her characters with physicality that truly brings the characters to life.

Sherry “cuts to the chase” right away, without the windy explanations, disclaimers, and greetings that plague the start of so many speeches. Each character dialogue embodies parsimony: Simple, Precise, and Direct. Sherry Lu tells you ONLY WHAT YOU NEED to know to understand the characters and their motivations WHEN YOU NEED TO KNOW THEM. She avoids tangents into irrelevant background information.

In short, Sherry Lu has “It”, the seemingly magical essence of the Storyteller. Her speech is a masterful storytelling performance easily at the level of a division or even district contest. When you truly internalize what makes Sherry’s performance good, you are well on your way to spinning a great folk tale of your own!


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