I stumbled across a compelling three-and-a-half-minute video with NPR’s Scott Simon sharing his perspective on how to tell a story (video below).
It’s captivating, as reflected in the 43,000+ views.
Before going further, let’s acknowledge that Scott Simon’s voice by itself is captivating. He could explain a recipe for nouveau meatloaf and I’d listen. Plus, anyone who writes about baseball and Jackie Robinson gets a good-egg vote.
With that said, I like what he had to say about storytelling:
- A story should make a point, which is different from a lesson, moral or punch line.
- The beginning should be crisp.
- Give people vivid detail. This is what enables others to repeat the story.
- Maintain a conversational tone.
- Have fun. Enjoy the sense of discovery that comes from storytelling.
The idea of crafting a story in breathable chunks also makes sense (although I can’t say the metaphor of a swim across the English Channel worked for me).
You can find his storytelling in motion on NPR at “Simon Says.”