Stories over Stats…

A few weeks ago, we discussed how adding interactivity to video can be a great way to convert your audience from just a viewer into an engaged participant. Now that’s all well and good, but what if the message you are delivering is bland, unoriginal or too complicated in the first place?

In a world where we find ourselves constantly bombarded with hordes of information, in so many different formats and from all different directions, it can sometimes be impossible to keep up! Whether it’s the social media notifications on your smart phone, the umpteen different email newsletters you signed up to by mistake, or just the adverts on the TV. It seems nowadays we really don’t have any other choice but to live our lives ‘always on and always connected’…
So if this is the case, how do you stand out from the crowd and deliver a message which is original, engaging and simple…?

Easy…just tell a story!

Stories are powerful. They enchant, captivate, fascinate, inspire, engage and perhaps most importantly they teach. Stories help us to understand the basic patterns of human life. They are fantastic for reaching out to people and truly connecting with their emotions in a way that no piece of data or statistic ever could.

It’s no secret that most (if not all of us) love hearing a good story. And we can all tell stories too. Whether it’s reading a bed time story to our children or just chatting to mates over a drink. There’s no doubt that in our personal lives we are experts at telling stories, as well as consuming them.

But if this is the case, then why don’t more of us use stories in a business setting? Surely harnessing the power of a well-told story is better than forcing people to consume masses of numbers, facts, statistics and statements? If there is such an ever-present thirst for a good story at home, then why not bring them to the office?
At simpleshow we believe in telling a story through video. So much so, that more often than not we will take this approach when working with our customers to explain their topic or deliver their message. But how do you go about constructing a good storyline for a video? Well here are a few pointers we’ve put together that might help you get started:

1. Choose your main character wisely
It’s vital that you make your story personal and approachable for your intended audience. So having a character they can relate to is important. If you’re using video to explain to your employees why they should be following the code of conduct, make your character an employee and NOT a manager!

2. Give them a supporting cast
People (generally) talk to each other. So introducing a cast of characters who can hold open dialogue with each other throughout the story can lend a sense of closeness, urgency and authenticity to your content. So perhaps you could set a scene where employees discuss their different views around the Code of Conduct; a nice way of covering all bases of the required information.

3. Ensure there is a clear beginning, middle and end
Sounds obvious but if there is no structure to your story then you will alienate your audience. Once that final line has been spoken and the video stops playing, your audience should really understand why they were taken on that journey in the first place and what’s now in it for them.

4. Keep it short and sweet
Thinking about our ‘always on and always connected’ way of living, it’s essential that you don’t bore your audience. It could be the best and most compelling story ever told, but if it’s too long and drawn out, then sadly in this day and age it doesn’t matter how great it is – your audience will not stick around.

5. Don’t do lists (unless it’s a list about not doing lists…)
Finally, remember to cover all basis – not just what and how, but also why! Your audience should become completely involved in the content, as if they were watching their favourite movie. You can only achieve this level of engagement through focusing on the ‘why’ factor that is underpinning your message. The viewer should not just be receptacles for a long list of facts about what something is or how it works!

(Peter)



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