Storyteller - Carl Gough

 You never booked a storyteller before?

Maybe you're interested in booking a storytelling but are unsure what's involved? Well the following guide set out what you can expect from booking a storytelling session with me and the things you might need to consider for the best possible service.

What is the storyteller's job?


My job as a storyteller is two fold. The most obvious job is of course crafting, adapting and telling stories. However I also view my role as helping customers gain a better understanding of how my services can adapt to their own particular situation. If you have never booked a storyteller before, you may not realise that in addition to an entertainment value, I can also deliver a storytelling to meet your personal or professional goals.


The approach I use may vary depending upon whether the booking is for a museum, a school, a park, a community group, a private individual and so on. Each situation will have a different agenda such as conservation, heritage, education, environment, community engagement or entertainment etc.


Therefore, before I even get as far as delivering the storytelling, we will need to discuss your booking to pin point key details that will help me provide the right kind of service to your needs.


If you're looking for some inspiration about what kind of storytelling event to hold, why not see my event suggestions factsheet  and  storytelling pages on the Connection Website.


Making a booking and enquiries


Here is a simple step by step process that will help you understand what is involved in the booking process:


Step 1 - What is the reason behind your event?

Try and think through why you are planning to have an event. Your ideas might well change, but if you have some idea of what you want to achieve, I will be able to deliver you a more focussed programme. If you are able to answer some or all of the following, it will enable me to deliver what you need:

        • What is the purpose of your booking? Is it just for entertainment or is there another underlying reason such as helping your audience be better informed? Is there a particular message or theme you would like coupled with the entertainment value? 

        • Do you want a storytelling session as a stand alone event or part of a larger event? e.g. a storytelling evening or a storytelling area as part of an event where there will be lots of other activities.

        • Is the storytelling going to be for a mixed age group or targeted at a particular age group?

        • What size of audience do you anticipate?

        • How long do you want the session to be and do you want several sessions over a day? 

Step 2 – Contact me with your enquiry

From the answers in step one, I can suggest the kind of stories which will fit the situation and type of event. Don't worry if you’ve not been able to answer all the questions in step 1, I can make some suggestions when you contact me . We can also cover other things like the location and venue at this point. From the information you provide I can give an accurate quotation.

Step 3 - Proceeding to a booking

Once you are happy with the arrangements, I will send you a booking form to confirm the details. This is an important step because it ensures all your booking details are correct, so please make sure you complete the form and return it.
Once I receive your completed booking form I will send you a booking confirmation.

Step 4 – Preparing for the telling

I can deliver sessions in most situations, however there are a few basic things you should be aware of to ensure your visitors or audience get the most from the storytelling. If you want any further advice on the following, please do not hesitate to get in touch:

    • Comfort - The audience needs to be comfortable because if they aren’t, it will interfere with their enjoyment. Comfort is directly related to the length of the telling and therefore comfort becomes even more important if you have booked a longer session. Comfort involves things like temperature and the type of seating.

    • Seating -  Storytelling is about interaction and dialogue with an audience and so I like to be able to mix with the audience. Therefore no stage is necessary. The best seating arrangements are semi circle, auditorium style or cabaret style. Full circle might look good but is not practical for me as the teller because there is always someone behind me.

    • Background Noise – This is particularly important where you are booking me as part of a larger event. Some incidental background noise is to be expected at times, but loud background noise is guaranteed to spoil everyone’s enjoyment. Therefore please provide a dedicated storytelling space away from other noisy activities. I don't use a microphone unless the situation demands it.

    • Indoors or Outdoors – I can tell in both outdoor and indoor venues, in fact I love telling in the open air. However please be advised that if you book me for an outdoor event, I assume you have made alternative arrangements in case of bad weather.

    • Timetabling storytelling as part of mixed activities – Where you have planned a larger event with lots of different activities (e.g. a party or fun day), please consider the timetabling of the storytelling session(s). This becomes even more important if the booking is to cater to very young children. In these situations it is best to timetable the storytelling early on in the event as young children cannot be expected to enjoy a storytelling after eating lots of sugary treats or taking part in a high energy activity.

Step 5 – The storytelling

I will come and deliver what was requested, usually arriving at least 30 minutes before the first telling to make sure everything is set up appropriately. However you should also be aware that no two tellings are exactly the same. The audience are a key component in a storytelling and I will respond and react to the needs of each audience. This means that during a booking I may need to adapt or alter the approach initially envisaged. I always deliver what you as the customer want, but occasionally the situation on the day may require a change in the choice of stories or slightly altered duration to achieve what you need.


You can find more answers to common questions on the FAQ page but please don't hesitate to contact me if you need further assistance or have any particular requests.