Competence Model for Oral Storytelling

A competence model for oral storytelling- a frame of reference 600x600_RIGHT

A competence model?

A competence model is a set of competences that together define successful performance in a certain professional field. Although a competence model can form the basis for a training program, it is not a curriculum. It is a frame of reference.
This competence model for oral storytelling does not want to impose anything either. It wants to invite, inspire or challenge storytellers to discover, improve, or expand their competences!


In this competence model for oral storytelling, there are eight competence domains. Together, these domains form the field of oral storytelling. Those domains are research, craftsmanship, art, performance, training, applied storytelling, tradition, entrepreneurship.

Each domain is ‘managed by a supervisor’. They approach storytelling from a specific angle, from a certain viewpoint. So, the different competence domains can be related to different functions of the oral storyteller. We speak of the researcher, the craftsman, the artist, the performer, the trainer, the applier, the tradition bearer, the entrepreneur.

All these different roles should not be viewed separately. They hold hands. They often walk together. Sometimes, one sets the other in motion. They form the entirety of you as a storyteller. But according to the situation, one of them can come to the foreground and take the lead or disappear into the background again. You can compare this to different roles in daily life,  being a partner, a parent, a friend, a storyteller, a teacher, a neighbour… You can be all of them at the same time, but you don’t perform all of them at once.

Good to know: not all domains are exploited by every narrator, or not all functions are executed by every storyteller. That is why we speak of main domains and additional domains.

The competence model in a bird’s eye view- competence domains_

4 Main Competence Domains


He is curious and interested, he likes to search and research, broaden his horizon, analyse and reflect


He wants to prepare his material, master his tools or instruments, apply his techniques, have a way of working


He likes to experiment and create from an inner drive, and wants to express himself in a personal way


He wants to communicate with and move an audience, and is confident and prepared to do this

4 Additional Competence Domains


He likes to initiate, train and coach others in his own field of expertise


He does not set storytelling as a goal, but uses it as a means to help develop something else
He carries on the oral tradition of a culture or community, keeping it alive and passing it on with respect for the past and a view of the future.


He knows how to promote, manage and develop his business
The competence domains are each divided into competences, which together cover the domain.

There are  countless definitions  for competences. What they have in common are a set of related knowledge, skills  and attitudes. After all, it is the combination of ‘knowing’, ‘being able’ and ‘willing’, that enables someone to contribute to the realization of something. Competences are always defined in relation to tasks to be performed. The needs of the organization or job form the starting point. You are only truly competent if you can show competence independently in an authentic context.

In short: A competence is a cluster of related ‘KSA’
K = knowledge  S = skills   A= attitudes
that enables a person to act effectively in a job or situation.

Every domain received the same number of competences.

This is to prevent someone from thinking one domain is more important than another. There is no hierarchy. Also, not in the presentation of the model, neither horizontally nor vertically.  It can help to imagine the model is lying flat on a table and  all competences are puzzle pieces, that can change places.

Some competences cover a larger area than others.

Several competence boxes cover an entire series of KSA’s (knowledge, skills, attitude), while others contain a few. E.g. ‘Master body and voice’ is a very large box.
The boxes are created this way, because they form a whole in themselves. E.g. ‘Master body and voice’ is about mastering ‘instruments’ you use for storytelling.

Every competence is formulated in a way that it can be set at different levels.

E.g. ‘Research background of stories and oral storytelling’. A child in primary school can look up from which country their story originates. A master student can carry out thorough research into the origin of a story.





The composition and proportion of the different competences create a unique artist on personal level! A specific training on educational level!

The Benefits of this model? 

It is open enough to connect with art. - It is oriented enough to serve education.
It is universal and general. - It can be made personal and specific.
It leaves room for a unique pathway. - It leaves room for a unique fingerprint.
It can be embraced by many storytelling traditions. - It can be applied to many types of oral storytelling training.
It uses clear, concrete and active language. - It offers active and visual tools to work with.
It links oral storytelling to many other performing arts because the main areas of the researcher-craftsman-artist-performer apply to every musician, dancer, actor ... !