Cannes 2017: Power of the Story -- Lessons from Ira Glass

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Cover image for  article: Cannes 2017:  Power of the Story -- Lessons from Ira Glass

Ira Glass is one of today's most iconic storytellers.  The creator, host and producer of the award-winning public radio show This American Life, along with the podcast series Serial (among others), Ira has been captivating audiences with audio for decades.  Here are some of his lessons learned in connecting with people.

Strip Away Distraction

There is an innate intimacy in a story told simply via the human voice.  Void of visual or other sensory stimulus, Ira's stories evoke an empathy that connects in a very real and emotional way for people.

Embracing Experimentation

The best stories happen to people who can tell them.  These storytellers are curious and create with a sense of discovery.  Delight in the surprise and the unexpected.  As a brand, if you seek to amuse your own people with your content, in turn you will create content that matters.

Inspiration is Inefficient

Ideas can and should come from anywhere, but most ideas will fail.  In this way inspiration can seem inefficient, but Ira embraces the notion of failing fast.  For each episode of This American Life, the team produces more than 15 stories, of which only two may air in a given episode.  In allowing ideas to fail fast, Ira continues to redefine how he defines great content.

Be Resilient and Curious

Today, Ira Glass is synonymous with thoughtful journalism and immersive storytelling.  But, this path did not come naturally.  Through persistence and resilience, he has redefined public radio and podcast platforms for the modern consumer, one story at a time.  When asked what's next, there is not a five-year plan.  But rather, for Ira there is an innate curiosity for the human story that's the next to be told.

Ira's insights resonate on both a personal and professional level for marketers.  Strive to simplify.  Eliminate unnecessary "noise" in your brand narrative.  Embrace all ideas with childlike curiosity.  Never underestimate the human connection in a powerful story.

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