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Scott Simon from NPR Weekend Edition gives storytelling advice

Posted: July 18th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Storytelling advice | Tags: , | No Comments »

His lessons include:

  • Have a point
  • Include details that someone else can remember and share
  • Start strong and conversationally

Ask Men gives storytelling advice from comedians

Posted: January 20th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Storytelling advice | Tags: , , , | No Comments »

AskMen.com ran an item on on some lessons hopeful storytellers can take from comedians, most of whom, in the end, do more storytelling than joke telling. Read the item here to get more details on these tips.

  • Be Brief
  • Give Details
  • Use Story Twists
  • Work the Crowd
  • Act out the Characters
  • Practice
  • End on the Biggest Laugh
  • Spin a Yarn

Listen to Dave Chappelle tell a story or two and watch his methodology in filling these suggestions.


How to tell a story (even when nothing happens)

Posted: September 9th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Storytelling advice | Tags: , | No Comments »

Some cat shows you why no story needs to fizzle at the end and no story needs to be boring.


Apparently Mark Twain has something to say about telling a story

Posted: July 28th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Storytelling advice | Tags: | No Comments »

I came across a lengthy essay attributed to Mark Twain called ‘How to Tell a Story.’ There’s some relevance in there, I’d say. Give it a look:

“I do not claim that I can tell a story as it ought to be told. I only claim to know how a story ought to be told, for I have been almost daily in the company of the most expert story-tellers for many years.

There are several kinds of stories, but only one difficult kind—the humorous. I will talk mainly about that one. The humorous story is American, the comic story is English, the witty story is French. The humorous story depends for its effect upon the manner of the telling; the comic story and the witty story upon the matter.

The humorous story may be spun out to great length, and may wander around as much as it pleases, and arrive nowhere in particular; but the comic and witty stories must be brief and end with a point. The humorous story bubbles gently along, the others burst.

The humorous story is strictly a work of art—high and delicate art—and only an artist can tell it; but no art is necessary in telling the comic and the witty story; anybody can do it. The art of telling a humorous story—understand, I mean by word of mouth, not print—was created in America, and has remained at home.

The humorous story is told gravely; the teller does his best to conceal the fact that he even dimly suspects that there is anything funny about it; but the teller of the comic story tells you beforehand that it is one of the funniest things he has ever heard, then tells it with eager delight, and is the first person to laugh when he gets through. And sometimes, if he has had good success, he is so glad and happy that he will repeat the “nub” of it and glance around from face to face, collecting applause, and then repeat it again. It is a pathetic thing to see. MORE


Ira Glass of This American Life gives his storytelling basics

Posted: May 22nd, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Storytelling advice | Tags: , , | No Comments »

In this four-part video clip series, Ira Glass, the host of This American Life, gives some lessons for storytelling in audio and broadcast.

In this first video, he gives his basics of storytelling.

Below, he also talks about letting go of bad stories, accepting you’ll be bad at first and will be able to tell and that there need to be enough characters in each story you tell, so don’t just speak about yourself.

Read the rest of this entry »