Ira Glass opined that the building blocks of storytelling are:
1) Anecdote – a sequence of actions in which one action leads onto another. He noted that in good anecdotes the storyteller uses bait to constantly raise questions that the storyteller answers, which raises more questions that lead to answers, that lead to additional actions etc.
2) Moments of reflection – the point of the story, a good moment of reflection tells us something new.
A good story telling moves back and forth between anecdote and moments of reflection.
Mr. Glass noted that not all stories make it through the chopping block. He stated that it takes time to find a good story. He observed that storytellers will go through a lot of garbage to get to produce a worthwhile product. He recommended that the storytellers be critical and reflective as they hone their craft. He stated that most creative people will go through long periods of time where they do not make decent stories. It takes time.
Mr. Glass imparted two last recommendations to his audience:
- When you are telling a story try not to be someone you are not, be yourself.
- Storytellers must remember that they are not the story, it is not all about them.
Jad Abumrad observed that one of the beauties of radio is its absence pictures. He stated that this absence affords the narrator and the listener the opportunity to share co-authorship of a story. In radio the narrator paints a verbal image that is placed in the mind of the listener, and the listener turns that image into a picture. He noted that the beauty of radio is its immediate and intimate nature.