Pixar Perfect Storytelling

I read the Presentation Zen entry about Pixar Studios filmmaker Andrew Stanton’s TED talk. The entry is titled The storytelling imperative: Make them care! The entry includes the link to Stanton’s actual TED presentation and without a doubt it’s worth the twenty minutes of your time. The filmmaker is a gifted public speaker and an even more talented storyteller. (After all, he does work for Pixar). The audience watches him like a hungry puppy watches a little kid eating cake. What is great about Stanton’s speech, and the TED talks in general, is that the filmmaker offers advice and invites us into the world of his storytelling success.

Stanton discusses his eight key points for storytelling success. The point he stresses the most is “making the audience care”. He challenges you with the question why the audience should be invested in your story. Stanton credits this as being the most important aspect of recounting.  The filmmaker says that there is no really good way to do this but the most important thing is to always craft your story with your audience in mind through their likes and emotions. The remaining key points that the speaker makes are to make a promise from the beginning that the story will be worth their time, don’t be overly obviously with your point by leaving some room for interpretation, there should always be change and a building of antici…pation, the theme should be clear and “infused with wonder”, and lastly you should include yourself and personal experiences in the story. Folks, if you remember and introduce these eight key points you too can be the life of the party by making your stories the best stories. Your story about that time your 80 year old grandma tired Just Dance will always be a hoot.

Stanton’s eight points for successful storytelling is definitely a useful tool for our group’s project.  Our project is an e-book written as an oral history. The whole entire point of our project is to tell stories and have the audience care about what we have to say. His points tie in very well with the depth of our project but perhaps more importantly with the presentation of our book. We decided to mimic a book signing for our concept and this will likely include a reading.  All of Stanton’s points will be very useful for the reading, especially the one about being “infused with wonder” cause that’s what I want our book and presentation to be. I also think that the Pixar pro’s points can also be adapted to public speaking in general.  Every public speaker wants their audience to pay attention and actively listen to them. We could ensure that by catering our presentation to our audience and to our readers. Our group could use these points throughout our entire presentation and “book-signing” and then hopefully it won’t suck.


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