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#20 The ABTs of Storytelling with Randy Olson

The ABTs of Storytelling with Randy OlsonIn this episode of Getting Goosebumps: The Power of Storytelling, I was lucky enough to meet up with scientist-turned-filmmaker, Randy Olson. With a huge amount of knowledge and a wealth of experience, he encapsulates the necessity and power of implementing stories for science. Author of books including Houston, We Have a Narrative: Why Science Needs Story, he’s an expert on using narratives effectively, with a universal structure we can all start putting into action.

Evolution of narratives

Everybody loves to talk about multiple narratives for storytelling...and we’re starting to realise that we need these higher levels of organisation to help us manage all the information and noise! But where did it all start? Randy explains the long-term evolution of storytelling and sheds some light on where and why this all came about.

With that in mind, Randy shares his top four tips and gives us some insight into his book, which explains why the works of Hegel and Kant underpin it all!

The power of ABT framework

You can’t create a great story without a strong foundation…but where should we start? Randy shares his own personal approach to effective storytelling, which all begins with ‘ABT’, a simple narrative of “and”, “but” and “therefore”.

Mastering this universal concept can really help out in the long-run, so we take a look at how it’s embedded in all great stories over the ages, from Aristotle and the Greeks. It’s always useful to take some inspiration from the past and put it into practise.

The evils in storytelling

With every idea, controversy inevitable follows! Randy shares some of the controversy around science and storytelling, which he has experienced first-hand in response to his book.

From his perspective, there’s nothing evil about a narrative storytelling. Ironically, we can actually see the narrative template in the controversy he received. So, there’s plenty we can learn from that! 

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