Craft of Storytelling: TED Talks


Attached is a link leading to Nine TED talks, which all invite the viewer to engage in a different type of storytelling. I watched three out of the nine including: Patsy Rodenburg, Becky Blanton, and Mike Rowe.

Patsy Rodenburg is best known for her profession as a British voice coach and theatre director. She believes the key to any good story is the twist or moment when the audience is overwhelmed with the feeling of truth from the performers and are able to connect their own human realities with that of the performers. While communicating a story, the most influential way to drive a point across if the ability to engage the audience on a personal level where every word coming out is a believable truth. It is a craft difficult to maintain, but when it is mastered it allows the audience to fully embody a newfound insight. Patsy demonstrated her idea of a story with a twist that has the ability to connect with the audience when she gave her own example of a man who did not like the theatre.  The way Patsy spoke all the way up to the end allowed the viewers to feel a sense of humor dragging along. All of a sudden she took a sharp turn and twisted the story into an emotional roller coaster. The man was able to connect to the actress on stage who had lost her son, because the sounds and mannerisms she presented allowed him to make the connection of his own life experience. A story that presents a twist engages the audience’s attention on an emotional forefront and allows them to imagine the scenario being described before them. It grasp and demands their attention as the audience notices a sudden switch in the atmosphere of the story.

Becky Blanton had been struggling for a long time. She had aspirations of becoming a writer, but along with her father’s death she lost site of what she was. She continuously battled between the notion she was either homeless or a writer. Through her journey back to self-realization of being a writer she was able to understand storytelling takes the audience in a full circle back to the beginning. However, once we arrive back to where we started we have completely changed. Thinking about any story I have read, it brings me back to this idea of a full circle. The story’s usually begin and end the same way, except this time the character has gone through an experience which has changed his or her life. Becky’s battle came with the fact she was homeless and did not maintain the drive to write anymore. Until, finally she received the encouragement she needed when her essay about her father began being talked about on the news. She reminds the audience people need encouragement. People are not where they live, where they sleep, or what their life situation is at any given time because circumstances are always changing. However, what people need most is that hope and encouragement from peers to forge on and make a difference.

Mike Rowe is best known for his television show on the Discovery Network Dirty Jobs, where he travels across America delving in to the country’s worst jobs alongside the employees who work the jobs every day. The message Mike passed along about storytelling is reflects on the power of being wrong and following our passion. It is tough as individuals to look ourselves in the mirror and find out who we are, as Mike describes as the true definition of tragedy. When we are wrong we are able to take ourselves back and gain a sense of realization of what we are doing and where we are headed. This is found in storytelling through the hero. Thinking of any superhero growing up: Spiderman, Batman, Superman, the list goes on and on. Everything these superheroes have in common is they all stopped at some point and reflected on who they were and what they were doing. Is it for good? Is it worth it? Mike begins to drive this notion across to the audience. When we get jobs, do we get jobs for the right reasons….because we are passionate about a certain field or is it because it is the path that will bring us the most money and “happiness”. This is the problem with work in the country, the fact people are looking more toward the dollar signs and less toward our passions. We are not working in field we are passionate about because if so we would have more enjoyable lives, like the man who scoops up roadkill while whistling a catchy tune.


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