I’m a bit of an audio geek. I love the way the best producers are able to create scenes and situations in your mind with a few carefully chosen and well-spoken words. These create what radio has long called “driveway moments”; when commuter sits in their car, on their driveway, to hear the conclusion of the program.

I used to assume all of these seemingly natural storytellers were born with the built-in ability to craft images. When I interviewed Stuart McLean (one of Canada’s best-known storytellers) I was shocked to learn that some are dedicated artists or technicians. I’ll always remember the moment I heard him describe the process of writing and refining stories and then his comment about the process and participants:

We work very hard to make it look like we don’t work hard at all.

Frankly, it doesn’t matter to me. While my producer-self is desperate to know the minutiae of the process, my listener-self doesn’t believe it’s anything but chance when absorbed in a great audio program.

By the way, the same rules apply to video — a medium for which many amateurs rely far too much on the easy access to cameras and editing tools to create mundane content, mistakenly forgetting (or ignoring) the importance of good video elements and especially good audio elements.

Anthony Marco nailed it at PAB2010. He used his JOLT! to demonstrate — simply — how words can create images in the minds of the audience, and that less is more when it comes to giving your audience permission to be in the moment with you.

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