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HomeFundamentals of Oral Storytelling Course



This course was launched in 2023 and had 12 participants (from Australia, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, the UAE, Kuwait and Vietnam) who all rated it very highly. They described it as well-structured, richly detailed and packed with practical content which the three experienced teller/trainers delivered in a friendly and supportive environment. (Watch Diep's feedback video below.) We are therefore delighted to announce a second run of the course commencing in March 2024.


to give participants a solid grounding in the fundamentals of oral storytelling - how to find a story, visualise it and then bring it alive in a vocally expressive and in a sensorially evocative manner that is tailored to your audience and purpose.


Who is the course for?  

Beginning storytellers and  those with some expereience who have not had formal training. Teachers, parents, librarians, community workers - and anyone who’d like to learn how to tell a story more effectively so as to engage and hold an audience’s attention.

How is it taught?  

Online via 10 sessions of 105 minutes each (see schedule below). The course includes plenty of practical work on making a story your own, vocal exercises, and ways of making your telling more interactive and engaging. The course culminates in a story-swap featuring all participants. 


A Certificate of Completion will be issued to all participants who attend 75% of the course and share a story in the final showcase (session 10)


How much does it cost? 

Members: SGD $400  Non-Members: SGD$490  Note there is an option to pay by three instalments (40/30/30%)



  • a complimentary Community membership of FEASTenabling you to register for any FEAST activity at the discounted member rate up to 31 December 2025 
  • members who sign up will get $30 credit  to spend on FEAST activities
  • a complimentary e-copy of FEAST’s first two anthologies of Asian folktales on the theme of food and Royals!
  • asynchronous learning (Dive Into Storytelling by Sheila Wee, a 3-hour video course)
  • a complimentary one-on-one post-course personal story coaching session with Jeeva Raghunath, one of FEAST's Founding Directors.
  • Our course resources include video reordings of 8 mostly Asian stories told in a variety of ways by members of FEAST.
  • access to view 5 videos in our archive addressing voicewhere to find traditional stories, the ethics of telling stories, and cultural appropriation. This totals over 7 hours of story video!

"I found myself more comfortable and confident in telling. That's because I went through all the procedure in this course. Each time you have something to learn. And just participating in the course will take you somewhere you want to be."
Hideko Ohshima, Japan

"This course has taught me many valuable skills and has also given me the confidence needed to improve in storytelling. I have learnt many different techniques and even things that I didn't realise I could use in telling stories."
Sharon Yen Leng Siow, Thailand

"I've noticed that my storytelling skills have improved in the following areas:

- I'm now able to restructure a story so that it suits my style, my audience and fits in the required time limit.
- I can now identify where to add details to my story.
- My body language has become more natural but also more controlled.
- My eye gaze has been more flexible and effective. Instead of just looking at the screen, I have learnt how to explore the space around me to create a virtual setting for my story.
- I've had better control of my voice and speed.
- I know different ways of opening and ending a story.
- I know where to pause.

For me, the most valuable thing about this course is that it makes me think about storytelling critically and strategically. It's not just about how to literally tell a story but it showed me how to think as a storyteller. Learning about story structure, and what kind of details should be added to a story made me feel more confident and somehow "empowered" to tell a story in my own way."

Diep Tran, Singapore/Vietnam

There was lots of great information and alot of good will and generosity from both the participants and teacher alike. I enjoyed it very much. The teachings were great and the break-out rooms helped consolidate what we were learning - it was all very good.":
Kim Collins, Australia 

"Being in a community of experienced storytellers and other like minded learners who are very passionate about storytelling! I love everyone's energy and enthusiasm, it is very inspiring and motivating for me personally. Thank you for having me and for supporting me so closely throughout the course!!"
Keerthana Paramasivam, Singapore

"I felt that it developed with rationale. Every little thing I do has a purpose and a rationale. I particularly appreciate that I had different instructors delivering the course. It was refreshing to learn from three amazing storytellers. I would definitely recommend the course to any storytelling beginner. I think it is insightful, and the shared materials are very useful." 
Fajer Bin Rashed, United Arab Emirates 

"I think the feedback given was helpful, the encouragement to just get the story out was wonderful and important, and the exercises in class were great too. Besides my own storytelling I'm also always interested in how people are teaching (various stuff), so I enjoyed learning from the teaching also. I also learnt so much from the innovations and changes that my classmates worked on in their stories! I think it's seeing my classmates' process of improving their story and finding something to work on, always. That was really humbling for me."
Jia Min Heng, Singapore 

We look forward to having you embark on your story journey with us. 
Please let me know when the dates for the next course are confirmed.

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Who are your trainers?
Who are your trainers?

Sheila Wee, Kiran Shah and Roger Jenkins are three of FEAST's most experienced members, with years of experience runnnig training programmes for teachers (from pre-school to secondary) as well as for adults (for example as parents or librarians, or in corporate and organisational contexts.)

Developing the course has been a collaborative effort that has seen then share ideas and expertise. While each session willbe helmed by a rotating member of the team, the others will be there in support and will from time-to-trime chip in with their experience.

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Sheila WEE
Sheila WEE

Sheila Wee is a Singaporean storyteller, who has been living and breathing storytelling since 1998. She co-founded Singapore’s first professional storytelling company with Kiran Shah, and because of her work to pioneer the revival of storytelling in Singapore, she has become known as Singapore’s Godmother of Storytelling. She is a founding member of the Storytelling Association (Singapore) and has served multiple terms as its president. Through her role as a Founding Director of the Federation of Asian Storytellers (FEAST) she is now helping to support storytellers throughout Asia and beyond.

Sheila teaches storytelling skills and conducts training in the use of storytelling across many different sectors. Her clients for storytelling workshops in Singapore include; National University of Singapore Business School, Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, Yale-NUS College, Ministry of Defence, Prime Minister’s Office, Ministry of National Development, Ministry of Education, Early Childhood Development Agency, World Wildlife Fund, Jane Goodall Foundation, Singapore Tourism Board and the National Heritage Board. 

Sheila’s international work as a performer and workshop leader has taken her to many different countries. She has trained many thousands of people of all ages and from all walks of life to tell stories effectively.

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Kiran SHAH
Kiran SHAH

Kiran Shah, a Singaporean of Indian heritage, started her career as a social worker before becoming an early childhood educator living and working in the U.S., Japan and Sri Lanka. With a master’s in early childhood education and development (1992) she has trained thousands of early childhood educators in language and literacy.

She discovered storytelling in 1998 and started the revival of oral storytelling by setting up Singapore’s first storytelling company with Sheila Wee, focusing on promoting Asian folktales. Together they worked towards professional development, organizing and conducting courses and conferences.

Her storytelling journey has taken her to organizations from schools, museums and libraries to the military, offering storytelling courses in diverse settings in Singapore and overseas.

Kiran believes in the power of story to educate, entertain and help the audience make relevant connections. Kiran’s great strength is in nurturing and connecting storytellers to one another. Since moving to Australia (2008), she has been active in the Australian Storytelling Guild (NSW) and is its current Vice-President.

Kiran is an active supporter of FEAST and edited its first two anthologies (A Feast of Stories: Food Tales from Asia and Royals: Wise and Otherwise). She has been a mentor for FEAST‘s mentorship programme on Telling to Adults in all 3 seasons.

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Roger Jenkins is a Singaporean storyteller whose discovery of oral telling in 1998 re-routed a successful career that had combined theatre and teaching. Winner of the Best Storyteller Award (Kanoon International Festival, Iran 2013) Roger has performed in Festivals in a dozen countries, from Bahrain to Thailand, Kenya to UK.

His teaching has led to work with diverse groups of people: students aged 8 - 18 (and teachers galore!) plus organisations including Allianz, ESSEC Business School, Asia-Pacific, Google, Maritime Port Authority, Procter & Gamble and the Institute of Mental Heal (helping patients in recovery share their stories.)  Roger has a long association with the hearing-impaired community (since using theatre to tell their in the 1980’s) and he is an advocate for access in the arts. He has conducted story workshops for the vison-impaired and the Inclusive Young Company, a Singaporean theatre for actors with disabilities. 

Like Sheila, a founding member of the Storytelling Association (Singapore), Roger subsequently founded the 398.2 Storytelling Festival (2015) which celebrates its 9th year this September, before co-founding FEAST in 2018 to support storytellers throughout Asia and beyond by creating an on-line community of tellers sharing their expertise and stories.

A published poet, Roger won the 1995 Singapore Literature Prize for From The Belly of the Carp, a collection of poems inspired by the Singapore River.

What does the course cover?


A brief descripter of Modules 1- 5 and 6 - 10 are in the row below. In planning this course, Sheila, Kiran and Roger have drawn on their wide-ranging experience of conducting storytelling training for teachers, students, parents, individuals and organisations in order to create this programme that is content rich yet highly practical. Some of their considerations were:


1 To draw on their respective strengths. It's important to realise that there's no single 'correct' way to tell a story. Every indivdual brings something unique to the way they share a story, and the more of 'you' that infuses your telling, the more likely you are to connect with your audience. So they divided up the modules around things that we each feel particularly strong about.


2 As we are running this course for FEAST (the Federation of Asian Storytellers) we wanted to draw on the tremendous resources that our organisation has developed. We say 'our' organisation in the sense that we belong to it and are passionate about its continued growth and success. So we have assembled a fantastic set of resources that include:


  • video recordings of 8 mostly Asian stories told by the facilitators and some of our members in a variety of styles and for sdifferent audiences. We hope you'll enjoy the stories, possibly consider of how you might add to them to your own telling repertoire, and be inspired by tsome of the tecvhniques they use.
  • three webinars (or Learning Capsules as we now call them) from our archive of almost 40 presented and recorded since late 2018. We chose them to sharew with you as they deal (in much greater depth than we can cover in the course) with searching for stories (how ddo I find a Vietnamese story about honestry?), avoiding copyright issues (how od I know if its a folktale in the public domain or an original story?)
  • a panel discusson on Cultural Appropriation
  • and a tips & techniques video on digital backgrounds when telling on-line. (While much of the course teachnig will apply to either, as and where appropriate we will draw distinctions in performing in person and performing on screen or for the camera.)


These are free, optional extras which you are welcome to view according to your objectives regarding the course and your future intentions as a teller.


In addition, non-members who register will automatically become members until 30 June 2025 (our membership is tied to our financial year from July - June.) We hope that you will take advantage of your membership to participate in the free events (such as our monthly 'Just Tell' sessions (for any member to come along and . . 'just tell'!) or our Story Swaps and Games Nights or to build on what you learn in the course by registering for a Learning Capsule, or even attend our 4th Storytellers' Conference (link to registration will be added in March 2024) in South Korea in September). As a member you willl enjoy a substantial discount on the full (non-member) price. You'll get to meet and know other members of our community and enjoy their friendship and benefit from their willingness to share their story experience. In thnis way, we hope the course will be the first step in making FEAST your organisation too.


3 Throughout the course you will be working on a story. To make it easier for you, your Rgistration fee also includes pdf versions of FEAST's two anthologies of Asian folktales on the themes of food and on Royals. These 40 traditional stories were all written by our members as they would tell them, so you won't have to wade through a long literary version of the story as you prepare! The course culminates in a (free) Showcase online, to which you are welome to invite family and friends.


In this module we will get to know one another and you will learn:

·        how storytelling works in the brains of the audience

·        what makes storytelling different from other performance arts

·        the importance of balancing improvisation and preparation


In this module you will learn:

·        the types of stories suitable for oral telling

·        effective ways to learn a story 

·        analysing your vocal expression and vocal energy


In this module you will:

·        learn the importance of knowing the MIT (Most Important Thing) of your story

·        learn about choosing a story. (Do you choose it - or does it choose you?)

·        begin work on preparing your chosen story – storyboarding, visualisation exercises and first rough telling to a partner.


In this module you will:

·        learn about telling to different types of audiences

·        tell your story again to a partner

·        do an exercise that will help you to imagine your story more fully and find details that you can use


In this module you will:

·        learn about ethics for storytellers, copyright issues and being culturally sensitive

·        discover how to use story structure effectively in your storytelling

·        learn where to put details on your stories

·        practice re-telling your story with a partner 


In this module you will:

·        learn techniques for creating a connection and sustaining engagement with your audience

·        explore ways and whys of incorporating dialogue

·        explore using character voices

·        exercises for practising your story with a specific focus   



In this module you will:

·        work on knowing the spatial landscape of your story

·        consider the importance of what you look at in different points of your story

·        learn about gesture and use of space and scale (in person vs on line!)

·        explore physical characterisation and creating focus

·        consider the use of props (why, when and how!)



In this module you will:

·        learn about story openings and closings (traditional and alternative!)

·        work on crafting the open and closing of your story



In this module you will rehearse your story in small groups with feedback from the facilitators and your fellow participants.

MODULE 10 – Graduation Showcase

In this module you will have the chance to tell your story to an audience that includes your family and friends.

MEMBERSHIP enquiries:

STORE related enquiries:

Story Swap related enquiries:

Webinar related enquiries: