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Home » David JP Phillips: The Magical Science of Storytelling (Transcript)

David JP Phillips: The Magical Science of Storytelling (Transcript)

David JP Phillips

Here is the full transcript and summary of presentations expert David JP Phillips’ TEDx Talk: The Magical Science of Storytelling at TEDxStockholm conference. David JP Phillips is the author of How To Avoid Death By PowerPoint. 

Listen to the MP3 Audio here:


In 2009, a man — a journalist by the name Rob Walker wanted to find out: is storytelling really the most powerful tool of all? And in order to do this, he went on his computer and he bought 200 objects from eBay. And the average price of the objects were about $1.

He then called 200 authors and he asked them: “Hey, would you like to be part of the Significant Objects study, which means that I would like to write a story to one of the objects”. And 200 authors said yes.

So there he had 200 objects, he had 200 stories and I assumed that it was with nail-biting anticipation that he went on eBay again with all the 200 objects: would there be a difference? Would there be a change? Do you think there was a change?

One of the objects was this — this beautiful horse’s head. There we go, the beautiful horse’s head. Now this beautiful horse’s head was bought for $0.99 and was sold, when the story was added, for $62.95. That is a slight increase of 6395%.

So was this a one-off situation? Not really, because he bought the 200 objects for a total of $129, selling them for $8000. Now that’s insane!

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