Thursday, January 5, 2012

Your Own Voice

Telling a great story is one clear way to keep your sabha engaged. There is something that happens when you tell a story live (and without notes) that if done correctly can capture an audience (or put them to sleep if done not so correctly). One of the best ways to tell a better story is to simply listen to as many good stories and story tellers as you can. 

At the (newly redesigned) BAPS website there are many recording of P. Santo telling stories. "Wait this is katha!" you might say. Yes but at the heart of katha is a series of stories. Here are some examples:
One key to telling a great story is to tell your story. Repeating something we heard in katha is great, but when we say it in our own voice, with our own observations - that story then comes to life. Below are a few story telling podcasts that can give examples of exactly that. Many of these are done very well, while others can be hit or miss. However they give a different way of telling a story which we can use when telling our story. So try listening to katha and using some of the techniques you enjoy in the podcasts below and telling the story in your own voice.
  • This American Life. Everyday stories told with a definite cadence. These are very sticky stories. Even when you seem to not care about the topic, they find a way to get you interested. Many sticky techniques on display.
  • Radiolab. Where life meets science meets audio. While the audio plays a major part in this podcast. Telling science stories from the view of a person who does not understand science works really well for telling prasangs to Bal/Balika/Kishore/Kishori mandal.
  • The Moth. True stories told live on stage without notes. We love the Moth. To understand why google Moth Adam Gopnik LOL and have a listen. These stories range all over the place and are not always amazing. But still there is something to learn (and be entertained) in nearly every episode.
  • The Story Collider. Similar to The Moth but the stories are about science. This is a recent find and the stories have been consistently good. 
  • Freakonomics. The hidden side of everything. This podcast is interesting because the story telling revolves around economics in everyday life. This really helps with making prasangs concrete.
  • Intelligence Squared. Debates. These are rebroadcasts of live debates where there are winner and losers. The audience is polled before and after and the side the changes the most votes wins. This really highlights how to give a convincing talk, how to frame your ideas. 
  • Planet Money. Similar to Freakonomics, more like reporting than storytelling.
  • Snap Judgement. Urban story telling. A great deal of international stories as well. Good place to pick up idea on how music, cadence can add to story telling. 
  • 99% Invisible. The story telling of design. We find this podcast is great at taking mundane objects and ideas (things we tend to overlook) and see them in another point of view. Can give good ideas on how to make prasangs and satsang concepts relevant.
  • Transom. This is a new one we are listening to. A few of these stories made it to This American Life.
  • Third Coast International Audio Festival. Similar to Transom.
Update from fellow Sabha.ologists
  • The Monti. Unscripted and Real. Some of these are better than The Moth. 
This list is by no means complete. We would really like to know your recommendations.

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