Introduction to Audio Storytelling

Introduction to Audio Storytelling

This week we begin learning about the art of audio storytelling. I started this week by listening to some experts talk about their experiences and what they found to be effective while working in radio. One such person is the incredible Ira Glass, host of the radio show This American Life.

Ira Glass talks about how important it is to make sure that the audience is captivated, and that each story that is told must have a balance of each person involved. Ira mentions that it is the opposite of the way that we are taught to write in high school, that we must start with as much of the action as possible. He explains that even if the actual content is dull and boring, we can make people want to continue listening to it as long as we keep a level of suspense in the way that we tell the story. He also mentions later in the interview that mimicking others is less successful than creating our own style, because that other person already exists, and we will not meet the expectation they have already set. He speaks more about this kind of storytelling in a four part video interview, and you can find the first one here.

Another expert on the topic of audio storytelling is Jad Abumrad, and he has said in an interview that radio connects people in a certain way that television cannot. He has said in an interview, which can be found here, that the lack of visuals present in a radio show that makes the listener use their imagination to see what the radio announcer wants them to see. It is through this visualization that the announcer and the listener have a connection, because between the words of the announcer and the imagination of the listener there is a co-authorship of the story. Through this connection between the two, there is space for empathy to grow, as the announcer and the listener have to overcome the difficulty of a lack of visuals together.

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