Once you've done your research and story prep, here's a more linear and goal-oriented approach to learning that story well enough to tell it in public!
Some practical suggestions for getting a story up on its feet - after you've lived with it for a while:
1) Make a commitment to yourself that you can and will learn the story.
2) Have someone read the story (with up-dated language) out loud to you or - even better - read the story out loud while recording it, so that you can play it back and just listen to the words, without having to look at the printed page. This allows you to really concentrate on listening to the story, rather than on reading it. Do this when there are no distractions. That's when you can begin to envision the details. Just as an aside, I really recommend you DON'T do your story listening while you're driving. I learned the hard way years ago, by getting lost on the way to storytelling gigs, that I can't concentrate on driving and story listening simultaneously! Best to find a nice, quiet place to do this work.
3) Draw out a storyboard of the major characters and action of the story in 1 - 4 scene. The number of scenes you draw is up to you, but think "comic strip" rather than graphic novel". Creating a storyboard allows you to focus your imagination on envisioning the story, rather than remaining dependent upon the printed word. Stick figures are fine. The point here is the story, not the artwork. Captions and conversation or thought bubbles are fine, but keep them to a minimum! (See my fine artwork below :-)
4) Then it's time to "tell about" the story. The focus here is on the characters and general plot movement of the story, rather than on rote memorization. You may wish to use your storyboard to jog your memory when telling about the story for the first time.
5) Tell a one minute "bare-bones" version of the story to a friend or family member.
What comes next? Work through the "Six Senses Activity" described here on the next page - and then tell the story again....and again....and...
This page is still under construction. Thank you for your patience! An example of the Storyboard Activity -with more details - will be here soon.