I don’t know how much I’ve learned about storytelling in the past couple of years, but whatever insight I’ve managed to pick up, I owe a lot of that to This American Life.

Until spring of 2007, I had never listened to an episode — I’d only heard a few fragments. I had no idea what I was missing, but since then I’ve missed maybe two shows, and each week I come away thinking, “That’s how it’s done.”

So, what brought me around? This mesmerizing speech by host Ira Glass, which I was lucky enough to witness in person, and which is newly available online.

It was the last presentation at the Good Experience Live (Gel) conference. Like all the others, this one was scheduled to last just 20 minutes. It went way over, and I savored every minute of it. Maybe you will, too.