There are few better storytellers in the world of radio than This American Life's colossal host Ira Glass. If you're not familiar with This American Life then I suggest you subscribe to the podcast and feed on its wonderful archive of amazing stories.
So as a huge fan of the man, and the show, I was delighted to stumble across this great interview in which he discusses his craft in great detail. some great advice in there for anyone in the business of telling stories regardless of the medium or platform the story is made for.
"OK. So you have the building block which is the actual sequence of actions, the anecdote part of it. This thing happened and then this thing and then this thing. That's one building block. And the other big building block, your other tool, is that you have a moment of reflection. And by that I mean at some point somebody's got to say here's why the hell you're listening to this story. Like here's the point of this story. Here's the bigger something that we're driving at. Here's why I'm wasting your time with all this".
"You have to be really a killer about getting rid of the boring parts and going right to the parts that get into your heart. You just have to be ruthless if anything is going to be good. Things that are really good are good because people are being really, really tough".
"And the thing I would just like say to you with all my heart is that most everybody I know who does interesting creative work, they went through a phase of years where they had really good taste and they could tell what they were making wasn't as good as they wanted it to be. They knew it fell short, you know, and some of us can admit that to ourselves and some of us are a little less able to admit that to ourselves".
"And so we've all seen really bad videos done by people who talk like people on TV. Just like when I was first on the radio I just tried to talk like somebody on the radio. And of course everything is going to be more compelling, it's just like one of the laws of broadcasting, everything will be more compelling the more you just talk like a human being and just talk like yourself".