The Trivial Vs. The Profound

In 2003, I took a trip to Normandy, France, to fulfill a long-time interest in World War II. Omaha beach, it turned out, is a bland place. Nearly 70 years ago, Allied troops were dodging a fusillade of bullets. When I was there, there were a few tourists wondering the beach. That was it.

I knew, right then, that I was interested in something else: Stephen Ambrose’s D-Day, Saving Private Ryan and the HBO Mini-Series Band of Brothers. I wasn’t a history buff. I enjoyed history books, movies and TV shows that were fun to read and watch.

We might not admit it, but we rarely engage content that’s informative unless it’s also entertaining. Do we watch TED talks to acquire wisdom? Or do we watch TED talks because the speakers are great storytellers, occasionally funny and also informative?

What looks like genuine insight might be great story telling in disguise. “You may have the insight of a Buddha, but if you cannot tell story, your ideas turn dry as chalk,” says Robert McKee.

2 Responses to “The Trivial Vs. The Profound”

  1. troy

    I absolute hate the TED Talks by story tellers. I tend to think that if someone isn’t getting to the point in something, then they don’t have much of a point to begin with. Either that or there’s the implication that the people they’re talking to are too disinterested and they have to ‘weave a tale’ to keep our attention.

    I’m sure there’s times when I fall for the story, but typically I like to think I’m fairly directed in my listening or reading.