I like to share examples of great storytelling because they can teach presenters so much. Engaging storytelling requires many of the same qualities as engaging presentations, including clear organization, self-awareness of voice and physical presence, and–most importantly–something to say in the first place.
If you listen to enough stories you can start to get a good sense of what works and what doesn’t. In the past I’ve recommended programs like This American Life and The Moth as places to hear a wide variety of people tell their own stories. So it’s unforgivable that I haven’t mentioned Snap Judgment, which is based right here in Oakland. It was first recommended to me as a more “diverse” This American Life. That may be true. It also feels a little younger, a little more rough around the edges. But the stories can be just as absorbing.
Above, Noah St. John gives the Snap Judgment Performance of the Year.