Galen Beebe Profile picture
Feb 26 14 tweets 3 min read
Next up at #onairfest: Hos to Tell a Story With The Moth

Featuring: Sarah Austin Jenness, @katadudle, @suzannerust, & storyteller Fonzo Lacayo.

(And embedded in this thread is my treatise on the problems with Show Voice.)

(This talk is gonna be interesting for me bc I’m highly sensitive to what I call Show Voice—that thing where everyone who’s on a certain show sounds exactly the same. The Moth is all about that. There is A Way to Do It, a cadence, a rhythm, a pattern of story beats & timing.)
(Show Voice can be so comforting. It’s consistent, familiar, predictable. Podcasts w/ a strong Show Voice make great driving shows because I know what I’m gonna get. The *story* changes, but I can anticipate the shape.)
(I go through phases w/ shows like this: I listen to a lot all at once (marathon listening) & basically immerse myself in that Show Voice. When I take time away and confront it again, that Show Voice can be a total turnoff. I can’t hear *that speaker*—all I hear is the Voice.)
(What really drives me crazy is when a new producer/host starts on a show and when they open their mouth the Show Voice comes out. If I hear a new person, I want to hear them. I don’t just want them to be a vessel for the Show Voice to talk through.)
(The problem is that Show Voice breaks my suspension of disbelief. I can see the set pieces. I know it’s a fiction, like all stories are. But I want to believe in the world of the story, and in the story itself.)
(As @JadAbumrad said yesterday, all stories are manipulation; storytellers are the magicians and we’re asking them to trick us. But Show Voice breaks the magic. I have abandoned several podcasts bc a new host came in & spoke in the exact same way as the person they replaced.)
(Anyway, The Moth has a voice, a formula. Which isn’t bad! It’s consistent, the stories often manipulate me effectively, and I enjoy listening. And they know how to make a story into A Story.)
So, here’s some storytelling advice from The Moth:
1. Tell your listeners exactly what they need to know about each character efficiently.
2. Set up the stakes fast so that your listeners know why moments matter.
3. Only tell the elements of the scene that matter to this story. Everything should support the arc of the story.
4. There has to be an arc. Moth stories are always about a moment or change, big or small.
For the small story with big change, @suzannerust coined the term The Big Little Story: stories that seem little but have a huge impact.

(I love that. I love stories that are not about much but are About a lot.)
Be able to say, in one sentence, what your story is about.
Prompts for coming up with a Moth story:
1. In the movie of your life, what’s a scene you’ll never forget?
2. When/how did you have a change of heart?
3. What’s a moment that had a big consequence?


• • •

Missing some Tweet in this thread? You can try to force a refresh

Keep Current with Galen Beebe

Galen Beebe Profile picture

Stay in touch and get notified when new unrolls are available from this author!

Read all threads

This Thread may be Removed Anytime!


Twitter may remove this content at anytime! Save it as PDF for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video
  1. Follow @ThreadReaderApp to mention us!

  2. From a Twitter thread mention us with a keyword "unroll"
@threadreaderapp unroll

Practice here first or read more on our help page!

More from @galenbeebe

Feb 26
Here are some audio pieces people on stage have recommended at #onairfest

Read 5 tweets
Feb 26
Next up at #onairfrest: the @Radiolab team on how they find stories!

“Story finding is an act of recognition. It’s about trying to notice the small things in the margin that might lead you to a story. The little shit.” (@JadAbumrad)
Jad plays clips of Marc Marron interviewing Terry Gross, stopping the interview to note the edge questions Marron asks—the little blips in the story that Marron stops and pushes on. This is what Anna Sale was doing on stage to Jad yesterday.
Read 15 tweets
Feb 26
Next up at #onairfest: Today, Explained, live! With @rameswaram and @NoelKing.

(Note: quotes are quoted, non-quoted text is paraphrased, and parentheses are my commentary.)

They had a plan for Thursday’s show. Wednesday’s show was on Ukraine so they thought great, we did Ukraine Wednesday, we’ll do a show Thursday about what happened to Afghan refugees. But then Russia invaded Ukraine.

Important: @NoelKing wakes up at like 4:30am. Seems useful for someone who makes a daily news show.

Read 14 tweets
Mar 2, 2019
Now it’s time for saving the sounds of Brooklyn with @vrosemarshall, @mollyfication, @zaheerali, and Taina Evans!

This panel discussion is all about archiving and oral history!

“Archiving is [@KPCC’s] The Big One of podcasts.” Day 2 host @TastyKeish 🔥
Historically, only people in power made archives. “Our project is the speak into the silence” and share voices of marginalized growth so you have a more accurate collection of voices to reconstruct the past. -@zaheerali
Read 19 tweets

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just two indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member ($3/month or $30/year) and get exclusive features!

Become Premium

Don't want to be a Premium member but still want to support us?

Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal

Or Donate anonymously using crypto!


0xfe58350B80634f60Fa6Dc149a72b4DFbc17D341E copy


3ATGMxNzCUFzxpMCHL5sWSt4DVtS8UqXpi copy

Thank you for your support!

Follow Us on Twitter!