I only have fond memories listening to NPR. On Saturday mornings my father and I would drop off my sister at ice skating lessons and then listen to Car Talk while we waited. “Click and Clack the Tappet Brothers” would answer callers’ questions about car mechanics with a humor and finesse that was unique to the show. To me it sounded so natural and off the cuff. But after listening to Ira on storytelling, I realize that each of those segments was the result of hours of preparation and practice.
Once of the most comforting anecdotes Ira shared was that it took him eight years to become a good storyteller. The premier radio raconteur was not perfect from the start? This seemed unbelievable to me. His most potent piece of advice was to drop everything you learned in high school about writing and just tell the story piece by piece.
After finishing a piece, it is important to be a harsh self critique. I think one of the reasons Ira is so good is that he is never happy with his work. In fact he states that it is important to know when your work is “good enough” because you will always find something wrong with your work. Being able to move on and improve on future projects is key in this case.
Mostly, making a prolific amount of content tantamount to one’s success. Improving on one’s work can only happen when one makes mistakes and experiments. At least for myself, the fear of making mistakes gets in the way of my work sometimes and hinders me from creating and getting my work out there.
Ira’s video really gave insight to the art of storytelling as well as was encouraging to a novice storyteller like myself.