This week I was teaching and intermediate improv class - working on telling stories. I asked them to tell word at a time stories with the energy and voice that you use to encourage a dog or toddler to do something. Lots of positive energy and emotion. After telling several of those, I asked them to tell plain, slightly boring stories and they told several that way.
After the storytelling I asked each group of four to bring back observations about the exercises to share with the group. There were many good lessons discussed about shared control and having to say "the" instead of "good" words.
One insight that I liked in particular was this: "Trying to tell boring stories had an easier flow". As I reflected on that, I remembered seeing fewer people looking up and struggling to find their words. There was a soft, even murmur in the room. Others said that it was easier to tell the boring stores.
The same group also noted that they thought the "higher energy" stories were more specific and had more details but that the stories wandered more and got "crazy". There was certainly more energy in the room and I saw many contorted faces and pained looks of struggle.
How do we bring energy to our storytelling and still allow for the flow to be easy and fun? Which is more interesting a story with less detail and effortless or one that has lots of detail but risks going off the rails? Comments?...