Great storytelling: Lessons from Ira Glass

This is a guest post from Mitch Joel — President, Twist Image and author of “Six Pixels of Separation.” His new book “CTRL ALT Delete” was released in May 2013. See the original post this is adapted from and more like it on his blog.

Great storytelling is a lot of very hard work.

It’s sad that so many individuals (and this includes marketing professionals) feel that there is either a story to tell or that there isn’t. This isn’t always true. A germ of an idea does not a story make, and turning on a microphone and hoping that someone with a story to tell will now know how to tell it in a compelling way is also false.

Great storytelling is a ton of heavy lifting. Brands claim that they need to get better at storytelling, and yet so few of them put in the time, allocate the resources, or even understand the intricacies and sweating over details that is required to get to a place where something becomes a great story.

There are people who are master storytellers.

Ira Glass is one of those masters. He is the award-winning host and executive producer of the documentary radio program, This American Life (produced by Chicago Public Media and distributed by Public Radio International). The program began in 1995 and is now heard on over 500 public radio stations each week, by more than three million people, and is downloaded as a podcast more than close to one million times weekly. The show is all about storytelling… and it is a sight to behold (and to be listened to).

Glass recently sat down with Googler, Logan Ury, to discuss his favorite episodes, his thoughts on technology, and how hard it is to create an amazing story. This Talks At Google is very worthy of the hour that you will spend with it.

Spend an hour with one of the world’s best storytellers…

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About Mitch Joel

Mitch Joel is President of Mirum — an award-winning Digital Marketing and Communications agency. He is also a blogger, podcaster, journalist, speaker, and the author of "Six Pixels of Separation" and "CTRL ALT Delete." Mitch is frequently called upon to be a subject matter expert for BusinessWeek, Fast Company, Marketing Magazine, Profit, Strategy, Money, The Globe & Mail, and many other media outlets.

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