Reading a story has always been a habit of mine, to visualize something that is based on someone else’s visions. But I feel when I want to hear a story the narrator should have a connection with me. It should be important for the narrator for me to be a part of his/her story.
Narrating an experience of mine to someone wasn’t just about sharing it with one person, but to four different people, seated in different directions, each with their unique life experiences.
My turn came out to be fourth, within which I was able to hear the narrations of my co-participants first. It turned out to be unique altogether as all of them chose incidents at different stages of their lives involving distinct emotions and situations. The feedback to each of them also did give fresh perspectives of listening to one’s narration. It felt like even if one person is narrating, the four people listening were interpreting in their own unique way. As I said above, no two visions can be the same. It turned out to be right even when it came to hearing someone.
Another aspect I feel I got familiar with was whether the audience is aware of the narrative incident one is describing. It totally alters the ability to listen to someone. It is like you know the climax to a movie, and if it doesn’t go that way, it turns out to be a surprise.
When my turn came, I had chosen to narrate an incident from my college trip to Rann of Kutch, to which none of my audience was familiar with. The reality in the story made sure I was confident enough to narrate in a convincing manner. I tried to interact with everyone sitting in front of me. I had established a flow of speaking. I knew what I was talking about. It was a mixed range of emotions in my story, ranging from being frustrated and confused to being satisfied that no matter how bad the day was, it ended in a great way. I think that I was able go deliver those emotions in an apt way.
The feedback turned out to be a positive one. I do still think that I rush a lot when it comes to explaining something. I guess, sometimes it is about giving it a pause. It wasn’t just that I discovered this in the feedback I received then and there, but it is something even people around me in my daily life sometimes tell me to do. To give something a break to make sure that the person in front of me can process a piece of particular information.
Even if it was just about three to four minutes of narration, it was a performance for those few minutes. It added to a list of different ways of performing. This time it wasn’t just about how well I could dance in front of an audience and be a good performer. It was more about how well I could connect with the people around me to ensure that they were interested in my story. It added a new layer to my orating skills, making me understand that whenever one speaks it always turns out to be a performance, whether it is for a single person or a group of people.