A lovely new piece published by NTEN and written by the filmmaker, Danny Alpert, tells us what he believes are the key features of an effective story. He’s somewhat of an expert himself - but shapes his advice around a series of fabulous quotes from some of the masters and mistresses of storytelling. I won’t repeat them here (but do read Danny’s article to read them all – it’s worth it). What I would like to cover, though, is his list of key features, because they are spot on:
- Keep it simple – both in messages (just have one) & in the execution.
- Create identification & aspiration – it needs to matter to your audience & (ideally) paint a picture of how things could be.
- Inspire action – always include something that your audience can do next (this is the web, after all!).
- Make it personal – most people make connections with people, not policies.
- Feelings make people act – if you connect with your audience emotionally, the rest will follow.
- Make it authentic – it’s scarily easy to spot a fake.
- Be the moon - aka don’t blow your own trumpet – get others to do it for you!
- Connect your story to the zeitgeist – it needs to be relevant in order to connect.
“We spend all of our life trying to be less lonesome. One of our ancient methods is to tell a story begging the listener to say - and to feel - ‘Yes, that is the way it is, or at least that is the way I feel it.'”
Read more about digital storytelling
- Danny Alpert’s article for NTEN: http://www.nten.org/articles/2012/tell-your-nonprofits-story-more-effectively-with-the-help-of-a-few-masters?roi=echo4-17884305299-14935124-ebabfe79644d69f50e61306b872fa261&utm_source=ntenconnect&utm_medium=email&utm_content=program&utm_campaign=feb12
- 10 tips for writing effective web copy (keeping it simple): http://www.suefidler.com/resources
- Tell me a story (with some useful links to further reading): http://www.charitybuzz.net/2011/04/tell-me-story-effective-online-comms-5.html
- Or then again, maybe don’t tell me a story: http://www.charitybuzz.net/2011/05/or-then-again-maybe-dont-tell-me-story.html