Spark was founded in 2007 by Joanna Yates, an occupational psychologist who overcame her dyslexia to become an expert on the art of storytelling. Since then, thousands of true stories have been told live from Spark stages. The three requirements when speaking at Spark are:
It must be true
It must be your own story
It must be under five minutes long
Keeping these stories brief helps to eliminate extensive backstory, going on tangents, and off-topic rambling as speakers get right to the point, in many cases by ripping of the bandaid and laying bare their soul on stage. Talks are based on a theme pulled from crowdsourced ideas. Some are straight up funny, others take a more serious tone, and you will find a typical “raw” quality about the delivery, as these are not professional speakers giving overly polished talks.
With so many American-produced podcasts consuming most of the oxygen within the podcast atmosphere, hearing the cornucopia of UK accents, combined with an equally non-American sense of humor, makes for a refreshing change of auditory pace.