Sticky Notes

The Basics

  • Two basic building blocks to telling a story
  1. The anecdote (sequence of actions) (this happened then this happened) -
    1. Raise questions, provide bait, an anecdote should raise a question immediately
    2. You want the person to feel that they're on a train leading somewhere
  2. The moment of reflection
    1. What does it all mean - it must say something new or insightful

You can flip back and forth between the two to make a compelling story

"The Power of the anecdote is so great... No matter how boring the material is, if it is in story form... there is suspense in it, it feels like something's going to happen. The reason why is because literally it's a sequence of events... you can feel through its form [that it's] inherently like being on a train that has a destination... and that you're going to find something..." - Ira Glass

On finding great stories

Editing and choosing is essential when looking for great stories, no story is great from the outset.

"Not enough gets said about the importance of abandoning crap." - Ira Glass

Good taste and persevering

  1. You may produce years of crap, stuff that doesn't meet your own high standards
  2. Keep your standards high and keep doing a lot of work and getting more experience
  3. Persevere in the face of your own crap

Finding your own voice

  1. Speak to your inner voice

"Everything is more compelling when you talk like a human being, when you talk like yourself." - Ira Glass


1. Link to full video series

2. Above is my takeaways and summary of Ira Glass' series of videos on storytelling and creating.​