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Story telling session with Anna Lehr by Somaya

We visited the Glasgow Women’s Library for a tour and a workshop with Anna Lehr, who works in education in Glasgow Museums and gave us some training on storytelling and public speaking. Here’s T&D group member Somaya’s thoughts on the workshop and a bit of her writing about how an object in the DLB museum helps tell a story of everyday life in a different time.

My reflection on the Glasgow Women’s Library Event – Story telling session with Anna Lehr

The storytelling session with Anna Lehr provided useful insights into public speaking. Generally, I am very nervous when it comes to presenting in public and was surprised by how effective the exercises were in calming the nerves. A range of deep breathing and voice exercises were carried out to reduce tension in the vocal cords, as well as relax both the mind and throat muscles. There was genuinely no tension in my voice after exercising, and my mind had been cleared of all the nervous clutter. Anna then proceeded onto discussing other techniques to feel confident while presenting such as dressing well, researching, knowing the audience, addressing questions, and most importantly practicing.

At the end of the session, Anna divided our team into pairs to deliver a short presentation on a favourite object, and each group was highly confident whilst speaking without much preparation. Speech exercises are key to a confident public speaker.

David Livingstone Museum object – The carpet beater

During a recent visit to David Livingstone’s birth room, the team was introduced to a carpet beater object. I was taken aback by the story behind it, which told that clothes during David’s childhood were passed from parents to children, then among siblings. When worn out, the items were cut into rags and sewn onto the carpet for its preservation. The carpet beater was then used to beat dust. Since it is not popular for children and teenagers in modern times to wear the same clothes twice, or items belonging to their parents or siblings, it was extraordinary to see that there was a time when clothes were a necessity which required reuse, rather than fashionable items.

Thank you Somaya for sharing your learning from the workshop and your research at the museum with us! Thanks also to Anna for sharing your expertise with the group. We couldn't have asked for a better venue to do the workshop in than the Glasgow Women's Library, we will be back!


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