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Storytelling is a demanding craft. Not only do you have to be able to write or perform the story accurately, you need to create vivid descriptions.
Dr. Paul Zak is a key contributor in the emerging field of neuroeconomics . He has many interesting talks online including this one delivered at TED in 2011 concerning the issue of morality and the function of the neurochemical oxytocin. But the video I'd like to highlight today concerns the role of neurochemistry and story.
As children we were naturally good at telling stories about events or topics that mattered and learning from others via their stories, but as we became older we were taught that serious people relied only on presenting information and "the facts." Accurate information, sound logic, and the facts are necessary, of course, but truly effective leaders in any field — including technical ones — know how to tell "the story" of their particular research endeavor, technological quest, or marketing plan, etc. There are a few people talking about the importance of storytelling these days (see this post from last year: Ira Glass: Tips on storytelling ), and if you look to non-traditional sources there is much to be learned. Famed screen writer Robert McKee's book ( Story: Substance, Structure, Style and The Principles of Screenwriting ) is one I have recommended before— highly recommend it.
“The truth is, we know so little about life, we don’t really know what the good news is and what the bad news is.” This season has been ripe with Kurt Vonnegut releases, from the highly anticipated collection of his letters to his first and last works introduced by his daughter , shedding new light on the beloved author both as a complex character and a masterful storyteller . All the recent excitement reminded me of an old favorite, in which Vonnegut maps out the shapes of stories, with equal parts irreverence and perceptive insight, along the “G-I axis” of Good Fortune and Ill Fortune and the “B-E axis” of Beginning and Entropy.
Who says a conference, like a university course, can't be flipped? At the Future of StoryTelling event last month in New York, delegates were given homework to complete before they had even arrived at the venue -- and instead of standard keynotes or panels, they sat in groups to discuss their studies. Admittedly, the "homework" consisted of the not-too-unpleasant task of watching 15 entertaining short films, around eight to ten minutes long, that were sent out in the weeks and days before the event. And as one of the delegates, I can confess that the task was not arduous.
On October 5, 2012, we gathered some of the most interesting visionaries working at the forefront of storytelling, technology, and marketing for a day of discussion, performance, celebration, and fun. Three hundred invited participants came prepared to ask questions and engage in high-level discussion with the experts below. FoST worked with presenters to produce a short film that would broadcast their topic of discussion in advance of the summit.
The following are the 2012 FoST Films. Each was created with one of our presenters from last year's program. Encoding Stories and Big Data in DNA
The most common and enduring means of cultural transmission in human societies is the story.
If you’re wondering what ‘telling stories’ has to do with creating change, then the simple answer is – everything! Jonah Sachs, Founder and CEO of Free Range Studios and author of Story Wars , has developed a summary of storytelling strategies in his Change This manifesto, ‘How To Tell A Story’ .
Pixar story artist Emma Coats has tweeted a series of “story basics” over the past month and a half — guidelines that she learned from her more senior colleagues on how to create appealing stories:
From The Pixar Touch, a set of rules for writing a good story to translate to the screen. Good rules to keep in mind for composition of stories in English, no? Good rules of writing to keep in mind for any essay writing.
Stories are a very integral part of being persuasive.
THE PLATFORM PROJECT
Every tale must come to an end.