clues to a great story

There is no pre-amble before he begins.
There is no “today I’m going to talk about...”
There is no agenda slide.
It just starts.
Andrew Stanton’s talk begins with a story.
He promises to tell his story backwards and sure enough he ends with the beginning of his life and that of Nemo’s.

It’s a beautifully constructed story in which Andrew takes us back through his life to the single point that inspired him to be ‘special’.

Early in his presentation he suggests that stories deepen our understanding of who we are as human beings. Presentations should do the same. Are we changed at the end of it, do we have a deeper understanding? Do we care?

Andrew quotes the British Playwright William Archer, “Drama is anticipation mingled with uncertainty”. We are after all animals that like to solve problems and without uncertainty life is predictable. Often presentations follow a recognized format and within five minutes we are planning our summer break or writing a mental shopping list.

One of the great moments in Andrew’s TED Talk is when he plays us a scene from his 2008 movie Wall-E. The scene has no dialogue yet it is full of story as Wall-E reaches out to Eve.

Simplicity in presenter’s slides can tell powerful stories. Too often we are confronted with a beautiful Google image that has no relationship whatsoever to a speakers content. If you are using an image, make it relevant.

At Edison Red we have been lucky enough to work with many great speakers, and however complex their story, it is those who create simplicity in their story and visuals that hold our attention to the last word. 

We believe Andrew Stanton does the same with his passionate and thought provoking talk.

Read more about our in-house storytelling courses.

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