What Makes a Good Story?


TED talks have a reputation to be wonderfully inspiring presentations by phenomenal speakers who seem to just have a way with their words.  I watched three of the nine TED talks listed on this website, one from Becky Blanton on being homeless, one by Patsy Rodenburg on why she does theatre, and one by Mike Rowe on being incorrect.  All of these talks are very different in subject matter, but so painfully similar in underlying substance.

A few characteristics that are consistent in all of the TED talks that I watched were that they all showed credibility, they all had a powerful message to get across, they all had points in admitting their faults, and they all ended on a truly inspiring note.

Credibility is shown in the beginning through displaying life experience, and throughout the talk by admitting their mistakes and shortcomings as a mean for improvement.  What is a story without a moral? All of these beautifully put together stories all have a message to be sent.  This message is put across through giving random details throughout the story that all come together in the end on a inspirational note.  The speakers make themselves vulnerable to the audience by showcasing genuine emotion to help get the point across.

A particular story in substance could be very inspiring but unless it is told in a strategic manner a person may not be able to fully grasp all aspects of the story.  Of course subject matter is extremely important, but it is the execution that separates a story from being good or great to exceptional


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