Harnessing storytelling vision


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A presentation on content strategy and storytelling that Michaela Hackner presented at the 2011 Nonprofit Technology Conference.

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Harnessing storytelling vision

  1. 1. HARNESS YOUR STORYTELLING VISION Practical tips for planning, capturing, and sharing your organization’s best stories. Michaela Guerin Hackner mhackner@forumone.com The Nonprofit Technology Conference March 18, 2011
  2. 2. Michaela Guerin HacknerStoryteller, photographer, changemaker @kalabird
  3. 3. The Visionary Process I. Develop Your Storytelling Vision II. Bringing Your Vision to LifeIII. Sharing Your Vision With the World
  4. 4. Develop Your Storytelling Vision“Being true to yourself involves showing and sharing emotion. The spirit that motivates most great storytellers is ‘I want you to feel what I feel,’ and the effective narrative is designed to make this happen. That’s how the information is bound to the experience and That’ unforgettable.” rendered unforgettable - Peter Guber
  5. 5. Connections Catalyze Change“Stories link one person’s heart to another. Values, beliefs, andnorms become intertwined. When this happens, your idea can more readily manifest as reality in their minds.” - Nancy Duarte
  6. 6. Prerequisites1. Organizational Backing – leaders share your vision2. Empower others to own your vision– Training– Tools– Inspiration3. Make investments in storytelling– Hire staff, conduct audience research, buy equipment (camera, video camera, audio recorder, lots of paper and pens!)
  7. 7. Where Are You Focusing Your Message? Who are your audiences? Prioritize 3 or less.
  8. 8. What Does Your Audience Want?
  9. 9. People Come to the Web to ConsumeIdentify what your audience is looking for, and make sure it’s ready and available: Read Download Buy Listen Watch Update Email
  10. 10. MEDIA Come to YOUR Website to Consume
  11. 11. Plan Your Stories Around Your Content
  12. 12. Leverage Universal Themes Love Death New life The bond of family / relationships Power Loneliness Surprise Hope Harmony Balance Beauty Old vs. new Past vs. Present* Adapted from Within the Frame by David DuChemin
  13. 13. What Are You Trying To Communicate? Choose 1-2 messages max message:Primary messageThe single most important thing you want the user to learn. (this message supports all of your business objectives). message:Secondary message A group of key messages that extrapolate the primary message.Adapted from Content Strategy by Kristina Halvorsen
  14. 14. What Can I Do? Give them something to do on each page! Your vision will inspire others. Give them a chance to participate.• Choose stories that will get your message out and solicit action.• Choose stories that have the potential to go viral. Ask yourself, do I want to tell something about this?• Pick stories that you can’t get out of your mind and that touch your heart.
  15. 15. What Do You Want People To Do Once Inspired? Your ultimate goal for your story (hint, this should include an action!) Donate Subscribe Volunteer Share Get involved Make a call CommentAdapted from Content Strategy by Kristina Halvorsen
  16. 16. Why Should They Take Action? Make the reward worth it How will they personally benefit from adopting your idea? What’s in it for them materially or emotionally? Benefit to sphere How will this help their sphere of influence such as friends, peers, students, direct reports? How can they use it to their benefit with those they influence? Benefit to mankind How will this help the humans or the planet?Adapted from Resonate by Nancy Duarte
  17. 17. Bringing Your Vision To Life
  18. 18. Words Aren’t the Only Story “At church on the morning of January 28, 2011 the pastor joked that ‘Thanks to the Egyptian government we will not be interrupted by cell phones.’ But on that Friday despite the cutoff of Internet, cell phones and SMS messages feeding into Twitter, the largest demonstrations blocked downtown Cairo causing the police to close the square. While phones came back on Saturday (after the demonstrations) Internet and SMS were down for a week. Still, the demonstrations continued to grow daily. Social media may have been the trigger that initially got things going, but the gun was already loaded with social and economic discontent, and once the initial shot was fired, the demonstrations took a life of their own.”http://www.irex.org/news/egypt-facebook-twitter-and-old-fashioned-organizing
  19. 19. http://www.irex.org/news/egypt-facebook-twitter-and-old-fashioned-organizing
  20. 20. Tools – the Easy Part
  21. 21. “Go For Bear”• Plan a shot list in advance• Wear comfortable clothing• Pack for any conditions• Charge all your batteries ahead of time• Bring adequate memory cards / film
  22. 22. Create a Safe Space• Put your subject at ease• Put down your camera first and LISTEN• Use the camera to gain access, but also don’t try to rush it.
  23. 23. Making the Shot* Adapted from Within the Frame by David DuChemin
  24. 24. Capture Details Photograph: lizainge.co.uk* Adapted from Within the Frame by David DuChemin
  25. 25. Pick a “Hook” Photograph: Steve McCurry* Adapted from Within the Frame by David DuChemin
  26. 26. Wait For the Shot “The best photographs contain a number of elements that had to come together at that 1/60th of a second to make the image. It’s rare that you won’t have to wait for it.”* Adapted from Within the Frame by David DuChemin
  27. 27. Mining the Shot* Adapted from Within the Frame by David DuChemin
  28. 28. Make it Interesting • Show scale. Size is relative. Pull in details that give a sense of scale and tell a larger story. • Be sure you have a subject. • Include a foreground – put something interesting in the foreground that helps tell the story. • Check your horizon and make sure it’s straight. • Keep an eye out for distracting elements and remove them. • Know where the light is coming from and take advantage of it. • Don’t forget to include emotion.* Adapted from Within the Frame by David DuChemin
  29. 29. .
  30. 30. Use Techniques to Draw the Eye In Large elements Light elements Warm colors Focused elements Isolated elements High contrast Oblique lines Recognizable elements Human / alive elements* Adapted from Within the Frame by David DuChemin
  31. 31. .
  32. 32. Don’t Show Your Full Hand .* Adapted from Within the Frame by David DuChemin
  33. 33. Sharing Your Vision With the World
  34. 34. You Can Start Small and Build
  35. 35. Get Your Stories Out There
  36. 36. Don’t Bury Them On Your Website
  37. 37. Plan Your Social Media Around Your Stories
  38. 38. Resources
  39. 39. Storytelling Reading Resonate by Nancy Duarte Within the Frame by David DuChemin Content Strategy by Kristina HalvorsonStorytelling for User Experience,by Whitney Quesenberry & Kevin Brooks Understanding Exposure by Bryan Peterson
  40. 40. Questions?Michaela Guerin Hackner mhackner@forumone.com 703.894.4347 @Kalabird #11NTCStory