Chapter 1 provides the essential background and rationale for bringing together the renewed interest in and practice of live storytelling performances by professional or trained storytellers in contemporary society on the one hand, and the growing interest and studies of oral narratives by academic researchers on the other. It outlines the type and scope of oral storytelling which is examined in this book, and sets out an aim to propose a multimodal perspective on applied storytelling performances. First, oral storytelling is broadly categorized into three different types according to the varying nature of interactions between the storyteller and the recipient(s). The focus is then placed on live storytelling performances, which are often held in community venues or various institutions in contemporary society. As an applied art, these live storytelling performances have yet to be accorded the status they deserve in the academic research on oral narratives. Key characteristics of live storytelling performances in general and applied storytelling in particular are explained. Multimodality is highlighted as an integral part of live storytelling performances.