If you’re an avid listener of podcasts and radio shows, then you’ve undoubtedly heard of Snap Judgment and the incredible, often emotionally charged stories they bring to life over the air. Their broad mix of true, adapted, and fictional stories make for a unique listening experience every time you tune in.
Because we’re such huge fans of crafting compelling stories here at CreativeLive, we’re having two producers from Snap Judgment, Julia DeWitt and Anna Sussman, in to teach a live class on how they apply the essential storytelling techniques they’ve learned from years of experience in the industry, to helping build Snap Judgment’s loyal listenership.
As you know with all of our live classes, we bring in a studio audience of fans and enthusiasts who are looking to build their skills and meet the instructors they’ve admired from afar.
Shortly after the announcement of this class, we had a huge response within our community, and a number of the students who are attending the live broadcast have incredible stories to tell, themselves.
From why they’re coming to the class, to what podcasting and storytelling truly means to them, I asked each of them to share with me exactly what motivated them to join us live.
Here’s what they had to say.
Ryan: What motivated you to take this class?
Michal: “While I may have some intuitive understanding of how to tell a story, I want to learn how to structure a narrative better for audio production. I’m hoping to gain sufficient understanding from the course to begin writing outlines for individual episodes of a narrative, biographical project I’m working on.”
“The project will be about my mother’s journey of fleeing communist Poland with me in the 80’s, then going through refugee camps in Denmark, Norway, and Germany. I intend on going back to Europe to retrace our steps and find people to interview once I have raised some money via crowdfunding and have enough info to go on.”
“I want to focus ultimately on the stories of several mothers that we came to live with in Germany, who all fled with their children. This would expand to include the broader issues of single mothers as immigrants and refugees in both Europe and the US.”
2. Koralie Hill
Ryan: Are you going to be starting a podcast? If so, why?
Koralie: “Yes, I am hoping to start a podcast! I know a lot of people across a very broad political spectrum, and I’m concerned about the widening political gap and lack of learning from each other.”
“I want to find ways to have my loving, but conservative working class white family to talk about resource access and privileges that they may have; and I would like my radically liberal friends and family to hear about the roles of religion and how that has supported my poorer family where other routes have failed.”
“I’m passionate about bridging the gaps of political beliefs and life experiences, to connect people and promote acceptance over hate.”
Ryan: What are your plans after taking this class?
Celeste: “I’m taking this class because I’ve been in the radio business for many years and have grown weary of the cookie cutter homogeneous nature of corporate radio and want to try something new.”
“I have a deep interest in zen Buddhist practice, meditation, and have a relationship with the San Francisco Zen Center. I’m trying to create a podcast about the zen way of life, but have been struggling with the approach.”
“I don’t want it to sound preachy, nor do I want to get categorized in the self-help section of the podcast library. Rather, I’d like to teach about zen through great stories from zen masters, priests, lay people, and fellow travelers. I want the content to be accurate and serious in nature, but presented in a friendly, accessible even humorous way.”
4. Monty Mitra
Ryan: What drew you to Snap Judgment and what are you hoping to learn from the class?
Monty: “I’m taking the class both to get better at storytelling structure, and to really understand the best approach to interviewing & how to prepare for them. If the class helps me turn out a podcast or another creative project, that would be fantastic.”
“I have a couple ideas for a podcast. One is to interview folks in various STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) roles and careers. The purpose would be twofold in that they would help explain scientific, technical, or even business topics in a simple (and hopefully humorous) manner and also help reveal more about the people in those roles.”
“The idea is that those careers can seem intimidating because of the notion that one has to be overly brilliant to get into those roles, when in fact, they’re just as normal as everyone else. Why do that? I can’t say for sure, but even with the ability to Google any question and immediately find the answer, it still helps to hear things from other people.”
5. Tanya Vlach
Ryan: Why are you taking this class?
Tanya: “I’m a storyteller at heart, and fascinated with the art of oral history, hearing from people, their voices with intonation, emotions, each personal idiosyncrasy is what makes us unique as humans.”
“I would like to get a better idea of how to make a great podcast. The know how of some of the technical aspects, and to get a podcast off the ground hearing from the producers themselves is going to be a huge learning experience.”
“I’m interested in the two faces of San Francisco. As a native, I’ve seen it go through so many changes, especially in the last 5 years. I’d like to showcase the polarization and challenges the city is enduring. The telling of this would be through a different theme each week featuring locals.”
6. Daniel Moore
Ryan: What are you hoping to learn from the Snap Judgment instructors?
Daniel: “I’m taking this class to learn more about how to tell purposeful, well-constructed stories that resonate with audiences. I hope to improve my story telling abilities, and in turn acquire more readers for my personal blog as well as my company’s blog.”
“My company, Edthena, recently started a blog series called ‘Teacher Voices’ in which we interview teachers who use our platform. We’re creating this content to connect with educators who might be hoping to find ways to improve their practice and who would like to see how other educators use video to further their development.”
“I also write personal essays and stories for The Bold Italic. The stories and essays seek to depict what it is like to live in a place like San Francisco.”
While everyone taking this class clearly has different reasons and takeaways they hope to get, it’s clear that they all have one thing in common: the desire to help others by sharing their stories.
Join us for Essential Storytelling Techniques with Producers from Snap Judgment and learn how to craft compelling stories.