Saturday, February 15, 2014

Randy Olson on storytelling and the And But Therefore template

Watch this ten-minute 2013 TEDMED video (unless you would be greatly offended by five seconds of the F-word).

Last fall the book Connection: Hollywood Storytelling Meets Critical Thinking he wrote with Dorie Barton and Brian Palermo was published both in hard copy and as an eBook.

There also is a Connection Storymaker app, which is described in this video. Their example of the And But Therefore Template is:

“Stories are fun
may seem complex
they all have a similar structure
they lend themselves to templates.”

It’s an interesting approach that can be applied in writing speeches. A few years ago I read Randy’s  2009 book Don’t Be Such a Scientist (talking substance in an age of style), but hadn’t kept up with his more recent writings, which include The Benshi blog. I found his TEDMED video after reading Karen L. McKee’s recent blog post Can Scientists Be Taught to Talk and Act Like Normal People?

So, as Trey Parker has those four foul-mouthed fourth-grade boys say at the end of an episode of South Park:

“I’ve learned something today.”

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