So About All This Noise

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These days story telling seems to be primarily visual. But, what about every morning when you get into your car. As you listen to the latest update on politicians, performers or someones boyfriend breaking up with them you are partaking in storytelling. Ira Glass is one of those voices on the other side of our radio. He has had a long career of radio broadcasting. In several short youtube films, he talks about broadcasting and what it takes to compose a good audio story.

One of his first discussions is on the building blocks of a story. His disclaimer is that telling a good story is opposite of the steps you’ve learned in high school. Instead, you need a series of events where questions are raised and then answered. And then, a moment of reflection that shows the point of your story. Glass expresses how important it is to have both of these to make a good story.

Ira goes on to discuss how we must set aside time to look for a story. Only half of everything you find actually works. So, he reminds his listeners to KILL and ABANDON Crap! This way you can cut to the parts that express your heart. After saying these things Ira made two great statements:

“Failure is a big part of success”


” If you’re not failing all the time you’re not creation a situation where you can get super lucky.”

Advice fro Ira: Phase that what you are making is not as good as you want it to be. To fix this do a huge volume of work with a deadline. The work you are making will catch that gap and help you get better. Ira then played a tape of how bad he was.

Also, everything will be more compelling the more you talk like yourself. Good story : about someone else but you’ll be a part of it too
After finishing Ira Glasses, set of videos I watched a short interview with Radiolab‘s Jad Abumrad on “How Radio Creates Empathy”. He offered a different perspective on audio stories. Basically Ira expresses how the absence of pictures can be the coolest part of radio. He talks about “co-authoring” where the speaker gives words allowing the listener to paint images. This creates a connection between the story teller and the listener.

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