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The Storytelling of TED Talks

Storytelling is an art and a skill. There is no doubt about it. If you can tell a story you have the ability to communicate knowledge in the most efficient way known to mankind. The TED Talks are excellent examples of people that have perfected their own brand of storytelling to the degree that it is effortless.

The first TED Talk that I watched was with chef Dan Barber, and his love story with fish, was an excellent example of relating personal stories to a major issue concerning all of mankind. He spoke from a perspective that most people can understand and relate too when discussing the issue of overfishing our oceans. I found his discussion to be a well told story because he begins with a failure that leads into him finding what he believes to be the perfect solution in the creation of a perfect ecosystem.

The second talk I watched was with the discovery channels Mike Rowe. He tells a story in a similar manner in the sense that he discusses what he considers to be a major mistake regarding one of his episodes where they were castrating sheep. He admits that he realized in his moment of mistake there are many moments where he is wrong without even realizing it. What I really liked about his storytelling style was that he kept it loose but ultimately ties his experiences back to the serious matter of work in the US. He brings up how he thought he knew how to work, but he comes to the realization that people today have a negative thought associated with work and that no one realizes the importance of loving your work anymore.

The final talk that I watched was with former child soldier Emmanuel Jal who used the art of poetry and song too get out his message for the saving of Africa’s youth. Emmanuel is excellent at using his own personal story of struggle to elicit a strong sense of emotional connection. His style is very straight forward with very little humor compared to the past two talks I have discussed, however he uses his gift of poetry and storytelling to keep the mood light and interesting. He used his personal story in an excellent manner as a way to garner support for his cause of educating the future youth of Africa.

The real key to take from these talks is that there is no right or wrong way to tell a story as long as you make it personal, passionate, and ultimately relate-able to your audience.

Talks Link: TED


This Blog…

I’m coming into the assignment of creating this blog with a fairly open mind. I have an idea of where I would like to go with this blog, but at the moment the real purpose of this blog is to actually just get better at blogging itself. The question I have to ask myself with this post is simply this: What do I really want to be able to do with this blog after this class, and what do I want it to represent?

Well the first thing that I really want to be able to do with this blog after this class is to be able to sit down with someone that is a professional in marketing or communications and pull up this blog and say look what I can do, and be proud about what I am putting forth.

The purpose behind this blog is not to be a virtual resume, but to be an actual example of the skills I have from a writing and communications point of view. I firmly believe that being able to communicate your thoughts and ideas is one of the biggest attributes that one can possess, and in today’s day and age what better way to prove that I have those skills than through the blogging platform.

Back to where I would like to take this blog from a content perspective. I am a sports junkie. There is no doubting that if you talk to anyone that is around me on a daily basis that I love sports. I’m one of those people that if there is almost any sport playing on TV or near by me I will stop watch, and most likely end up being sucked into the competition. That is where I would ultimately like to take this blog, but also add a little bit of a personal marketing flair to that as well by recognizing the marketing aspects of the sports themselves.

In the end this blog is all about just getting better at this whole blogging thing in its entirety for right now, and we’ll see where it goes from there.

What’s this blogging thing?

It seems that most people in today’s world have heard the words blog or blogging more than they care to remember. However, do most people even know what a blog really is or what it looks like? I personally know that if I put my whole family in front of a computer screen, and opened a blog and Twitter side to side they would not be able to tell me the difference between the two. So a blog is in its simplest form just a series of posts written and organized in reverse chronological order on a webpage. The truth is in all honesty that any webpage you visit that follows those simple guidelines is a blog, and or that reason a blog can take on any look you can imagine.

The look of a blog is often defined by the content that the blog is aiming to speak on. For example take the Grantland blog associated with ESPN. This blog covers sports and pop culture in its entirety giving it quite a wide audience. The blog is well organized, very “clean”, and streamlined so that even the first time visitor has little to no difficulty in navigating the page. The images on the page are all associated with either sports or pop culture and there is virtually no deviation from that.

Another blog that I think provides a good example of what a successful blog is the SBNation sports blog. Under the banner of SBNation there are hundreds of subsidiary blogs for each professional and some college sports teams across the country and the world. All of these blogs do a great job of making the theme match up with whatever team their representing. These blogs are extremely easy to navigate but are very informative if you religiously follow a team as they are updated very frequently.

Here are a couple links to the two blogs I’ve discussed:SBNation, Grantland