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4. The Power of the Anecdote

4. The Power of the Anecdote

“The Power of the anecdote is so great…No matter how boring the material is, if it is in story form…there is suspense in it, it feels like something’s going to happen. The reason why is because literally it’s a sequence of events…you can feel through its form [that it's] inherently like being on a train that has a destination…and that you’re going to find something…” -Ira Glass

Comedians and storytellers are masters of the anecdote. Modern stand up comedy wouldn’t exist if people didn’t love hearing them. What is an anecdote? Dictionary.com (the only dictionary I use) describes it as, “a short account of a particular incident or event of an interesting or amusing nature, often biographical.”

Don’t be afraid to tell your story, even if it isn’t the most interesting set of actions in the world, understand that people like hearing about the little things that make people, well, people. Interviewers know this, that’s why the good one’s frame their questions in order get people to tell anecdotes, to tell stories instead of rattling off facts.

Speaking of comedians telling stories, I found this interview with comedian Sarah Silverman to be particularly apropos. Try to figure out how many different anecdotes you can find in it.

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