Check Out Two Don’t-Miss Story Videos

Here are two videos that have earned buzz in recent weeks. If you haven’t seen them yet, I think you’ll enjoy them (heck, you’ll enjoy them even if you have seen them).

The first is a series of stories held together with the thread of set of nouns (inspiration, intuition, improvisation, e.g.). I’ve seen Philippe Petit in the wonderful acrophobia-exacerbating film, Man on Wire, and, of course, I remember his impossible tightrope walk between the twin towers of the World Trade Center in the late 70s. But I was struck by how articulate he is, how well he presents, how lyrical he sounds. His well-spoken English is drenched with French flavor, which makes it sound even better. Much of the power of his stories comes from the kinesthetics that are so much a part of his artistry. It’s one of the best TED Talks I’ve seen.

In “Stories Out Loud,” also from TED, Bill Harley tells a couple of stories, but the primary value of the video comes from what he says about stories and storytelling. As he admits, he doesn’t say anything about storytelling that hasn’t already been said, but he delivers a message about story as context — and much more — in a compelling way.

Harley argues for the importance of the face-to-face, storyteller-audience oral interaction, reminding me of Sean Buvala, and his definition of storytelling: “Storytelling is the intentional sharing of a narrative in words and actions for the benefit of both the listener and the teller.”