photo credit: * RICCIO via photopin cc

4 steps to good storytelling

My friend the News reporter has a new job. She is part of “LA Prepa”, a show where she interviews students whose personal stories have grown into a success story related to sports. How those students face challenge, what/who is part of their success, and what is the life goal that sometimes go beyond sports.

Now that she is out of the busy daily newscast’s newsroom and its time constraints I have seen my friend´s storytelling skills grow a lot. She applies these 5 steps that are key for writing, video, audio, and wherever you apply storytelling.

Emotions

If you want good storytelling you need to create emotions in the audience/readers. The top sign of connecting with the audience. “Emotions” may seem vague and wide but it is about your ability to bring universal values in the same way literature and music do.

Language and style

Here lies a huge difference between good and not so good storytelling. Keeping it simple is key, and you are able to do so if you master your media. Wether you write an article or a script, you don´t need three sentences with fancy adjectives or dramatic effects to make sure people feel some emotions.

Flow

This comes with technique. To me, one of the best ways to learn this, besides doing it once and again, is by watching, reading other people´s pieces. If you love a video or an article, try to detach for some seconds from the story and perceive what makes it so delightful. Try to see how they use video transitions or build sequences, or try to see how the writer is “writing”. The words he/she chose to describe something, paragraphs, even punctuation.

Duration

Just remember that not everybody is as engaged in your story as you -the creator- are. Also keep in mind the new ways of consuming media. Are you sure people will still be watching from their living room TV? Or they will be reading you in a calm and quiet room? Maybe somebody sent them a link to your story ant they try to open with their phone in commute hours.

A video experience varies a lot from person to person depending on the phone, or even the mobile device (maybe they use a tablet), the connection and many other things.

For the web, they say 90% of people can stand a 30 secs. video and this amount decreases by 50% when it is a 2 min. video. In these days I would also be careful with anything written that is more than 700 words.

Photo credit: * RICCIO via photopin cc

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Clarisse Céspedes

Journalist and Content Strategist. SEO, sponsorships and video. Follow me on Facebook and @ClarisseCespede.

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