Ira Glass offers tips on storytelling that apply to comedy too

Some notes from watching This American Life's Ira Glass talk about storytelling:

Constantly raise questions and answer them. Questions keep people intrigued.

One big tool is a moment of reflection, the point of the story. An anecdote that kills with no moment of reflection means nothing. Good stories flip back and forth between action and reflection.

The hard part is finding a decent story.

Throw out half of what you try: Abandoning crap is key.

You have to aggressively kill stuff to get to the good stuff. Things that are really good are because someone is being ruthless.

Failure is a huge part of success. If you're not failing all the time, you won't get super lucky.

Your taste is key. You need to know that your early work will fall short. You will fail. You need to do a huge volume of work. You have to turn out work on a regular basis. That's the only way to close the gap between your actual work and your ambitions.

Everything is more compelling when you talk like a human being instead of a broadcaster.

A story is like a conversation: You're telling the story of the other person (or you're interacting with other people) but you're also telling a little bit about yourself in the story.

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