The art of audio storytelling

Ira Glass

According to Ira Glass, there are two building blocks of audio storytelling:

  1. Anecdote: According to what I understood from the video Anecdote is a sequence of actions like one thing happening next to other in audio storytelling. This is an example of the whole thought process that must be in a correct sequence to make a sense. A story is originated in a specific sequence and not according to a title line as we traditionally think of. I personally also believed that once you think of a catchy title, the story will follow. But now I believe that there has to be a proper sequence of actions to make a story interesting to the audience. I mean who likes people who jump around when they tell you about whatever happening. There has to be a proper though and a sequence to make you feel like listening. It’s not always about facts. Ira Glass has very finely explained it with a simple example of a story of a guy waking up in the morning and getting off his bed in the following video.
  2. Question/Answers: Second thing according to Ira Glass is raising and answering questions. It’s like finding a purpose to the different things happening in the story. The answers to these questions is the key to the success of the story among the listeners. If the person making the story cannot answer the questions that are raised due to the different parts of the story, the audience won’t buy it in my opinion. I think that there are points where unanswered questions are left in a story but they are to be answered in the next episode if it’s a radio show and keeps the listeners intact to the show. In the meantime, the audience can keep guessing and wait for the next episode.

In the following video, Ira Glass tells how hard it is to find a descent story. I believe that it is important to know that nothing is free in this world. To get your hands on a story that would be loved by the audience, you need to be patient. It could take some time to be able to get a good story out of someone. The storyteller might have to use their innovation and imagination to tie down bits and pieces from another person’s broken and non-sequential story and give it a proper sequence to make it make sense.

Jad Abumrad

This video is a great example of taking advantage what might be lacking in whatever. Yes, it’s kinds of using making your weaknesses as your strengths. In the audio world, we do not have access to the visual information. The audio presenter has to come up with audio description of the things that he/she wants to explain in a way that it imprints a set of visual information in the minds of the listeners. When we listen to a radio program, we have to be able to see through the eyes of the audio presenter, otherwise our interest is lost. This makes the work of an audio presenter both easy and challenging. Easy in a sense that he/she can be innovative in the description to make a visual imprint in the minds of the listeners. Challenging in sense that different people have different thought processes and they would perceive audio information differently than each other. So finding a common ground is a challenge for the audio presenter. Here is the video for my blog audience.

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