Ira Glass’s storytelling youtube videos, he discusses concepts on how to become a strong, engaging storyteller.
His first video highlights the two main building blocks of the art – the anecdote and the moment of reflection. The anecdote is a sequence of actions. In a story form, no matter how boring the sequence of actions are, there is momentum and suspense which implies to the listener that there is a destination. The moment of reflection tells the listener why they are listening to the story, and what benefit they are getting from it. Often, storytellers will have a powerful anecdote but no moment of reflection, or a boring anecdote but lots to reflect on. Either way, the story is compromised. It’s important to have both building blocks in order to create a good story.
In Glass’s second video, he emphasizes how the amount of time taken to find a great story is often overlooked. Glass recommends that a storyteller spend just as much time, if not more, finding that perfect story. He encourages being ambitious, tough, and ruthless when it comes to killing story ideas. Killing a mediocre story allows an even better story to come about and live.
In his third and fourth videos, Glass touches on mistakes beginners often make. Upon involving themselves in the world of journalism, beginners have good taste but often have difficulty executing that said good taste due to lack of skills. Be patient and don’t quit, he says. It takes lots of practice and hands on work to become a talented storyteller. He also recommends making all stories interactive and multi-character to keep the listener engaged. Nobody wants to listen to a story where it’s all about one person from one standpoint!
These videos helped a ton with learning storytelling skills. I look forward to learning more throughout the class!