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Power Your Podcast with Storytelling

with Alex Blumberg

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  •   02 Audio: Power of Emotion & Connection


Class duration: 10h 19m

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    74 student reviews

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About The Class

tell captivating stories.

Join Alex Blumberg, award-winning reporter and producer for This American Life and co-host of NPR’s Planet Money, for Power Your Podcast with Storytelling, and learn podcast tips on how to tell powerful, memorable stories through audio.

Storytelling is in our DNA – integrating its principles into a podcast not only helps you tell better stories, it allows you to authentically and emotionally connect with your audience. In this class, you will learn the unique approach to interviewing and story composition, which has made This American Life a fan favorite on public radio stations across the country. Alex will share production techniques you can use to create a multi-layered sensory experience and share tips for standing out in the ever-growing field of podcasts. You’ll learn: 

  • How to develop your narrative instincts
  • How to prepare for an interview to get the best answers
  • The elements of a good story

Alex will teach you how to create a “driveway moment” — that experience when the story is so good, it makes the audience pause what they are doing just to listen through to the end.

Whether you already produce a successful podcast, are a creative entrepreneur looking for a new marketing method, or just a public radio-loving audiophile – this class will help you tell better stories.

Lesson Plan

  1. 01

    Why Audio is Perfect for Storytelling

  2. 02

    Audio: Power of Emotion & Connection

    Every medium needs specific elements to move audiences – audio needs emotional honesty. Learn to convey it.

  3. 03

    The Art of the Interview

  4. 04

    The Power of the Right Question

  5. 05

    The Nuts & Bolts of Interviewing

  6. 06

    What Makes Interviewee Interesting?

  7. 07

    Demo: Pre-Interview with Ann Rea

  8. 08

    Mapping Out the Interview - Part 1

  9. 09

    Mapping Out the Interview - Part 2

  10. 10

    Demo: Conducting a Killer Interview - Part 1

  11. 11

    Demo: Conducting a Killer Interview - Part 2

  12. 12

    Demo: Conducting a Killer Interview - Part 3

  13. 13

    The Elements of Story

  14. 14

    Putting the Story Elements Together

  15. 15

    Making the Story Work for the Audience

  16. 16

    The Story Formula

  17. 17

    The Power of the Story Formula

  18. 18

    Workshopping YOUR Story

  19. 19

    Get to a Finished Piece: The Script

  20. 20

    Get to a Finished Piece: Music

  21. 21

    The Finished Ann Rea Audio Story


Meet Your Expert

Alex Blumberg

Alex Blumberg is the CEO and co-founder, along with Matt Lieber, of Gimlet Media. Before Gimlet, he was a radio journalist at This American Life and the co-founder, along with Adam Davidson, of the This American Life/NPR co-production Planet Money. ... read more

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Bonus Material

Access your course materials here!

Get access to exclusive bonus content when you purchase this class.

  • pdf Final Audio Story from Interview
  • pdf Interview Gear List
  • zip Student Homework: Audio Interview Clips

90% of students recommend this class.
See what some of them have to say.

  • Mark

    January 2017

    I wish there were rating choices other than either thumbs UP or DOWN, because my rating is "SORT OF." I wish the course had been better edited - within these 10.5 hours is a very useful 6 or 7 hour course. Constant fillers ("sort of" "like" "ah" "um") were frustrating - pause for half a second, then speak. As "bonus material," I think witnessing the sausage-making process of Julia and Alex turning the Ann Rea interview (their conversations, software edits, narration, etc) into the final "produced" version would be very helpful. The course outline is excellent, but some content for the class there wasn't prepared, as Alex admits in the last segment. I'm not happy having someone "wing it" and hope something useful comes about. Sometimes it did, but other times it didn't, or things went off track. Even though he's enthusiastic and charming, and has decades of wonderful experience, more preparation on Alex's part would have made a great difference. Core elements of story were glossed over or entirely skipped. For example, "stakes" were mentioned, but not delved into (what they are, why they're important to share with the audience, how to elicit them from the interviewee, etc.). I really appreciate great advice provided, like (paraphrased) "listeners' boredom and confusion are the enemy," "must provide sign posts to guide where we've been, where we are now, and where we're heading," "we're seeking moments of authentic emotion," "do NOT fill the silence - just shut up!" I also appreciate the wealth of practical "in the field" information, such as effective questions and strategies for soliciting interviews.

  • Matt James Smith

    Matt James Smith

    May 2017

    The best storytelling resource I've come across bar none. I've read all the books, paid for all the online courses, listened to all the podcasts but for me none have been anywhere near as useful, engaging, moving, fun and outright inspiring as this course. If you're trying to tell stories with factual material, whatever your medium, this is as good as it gets. Regarding those reviewers saying it was haphazard and underprepared - huh? He doesn't offer strict formulas and perfectly structured, detailed approaches, but that's because he's the real deal. Those things only exist for snake-oil-merchant online "story gurus" who charge through the nose for "the perfect strategy" (*cough* Patrick Moreau *cough*). Alex offers what he can of tricks and formulae, but where it's about experience and gut feelings, he's honest. Thank god. Superb.

  • Gregory Lawson

    Gregory Lawson

    January 2017

    This class is great on multiple levels. Are you interested in interviewing? There are great tips and techniques. Interested in Storytelling? Great insights into the basic structures and tools to test how compelling your story idea is. Interested in podcasting? Great tips and ideas here too... Alex is a seasoned pro, has an easy, approachable style and allows his class (and you) time to really consider and work through the concepts. Excellent all the way around!

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