Some tips bear repeating AND in honor of one of my favorite movies, Groundhog Day as it is tomorrow - I thought I would trot out this tip about Repetition from back in 2013!
Lather, Rinse, Repeat! - Now Say it With Me!
We are all familiar with the instructions on our bottles of shampoo. Most people have accepted that you only need to shampoo and rinse ONCE, but many still repeat the process, thus using twice as much shampoo as they need to.
But in storytelling, repetition is not considered wasting product, it's considered, building connections!
Using repetition in your story helps the audience connect to the story by reinforcing audible touch points. Repeating words or refrains makes the story more familiar to them. Often, they are anticipating those moments of repetition.
You can involve the audience even more with a "call and response". Having them join in each time with "Fee, Fi, Fo, Fum" builds audience rapport. This audience participation along with the repetition can make for a delightful and communal storytelling experience.
In using call and response, you must always gage the level of willingness of the audience to join in. Most listeners want to join you and feel like they are part of the storytelling process. Occasionally, you may get resistance. You must decide whether using this method will engage the audience more, or create more distance between you and them.
Look for the places in your story - even personal stories - where you can use repetition and/or call and response to build community, connections and cohesiveness.