Storytelling in its earliest form manifest as visual stories. From the oldest cave drawings in Sulawesi, Indonesia to the cave art in Spain and France, they are vestiges of bygone ages that speak of the human propensity to connect, to share. Telling stories has since evolved as man’s capacity and capability expand.
Today, storytelling is on steroids! Digital storytelling has pervaded our daily lives. A click of a button on your smart phone, tablet, and computer connects you to an audience from one to a million. According to the “The Internet Minute” data in 2021 compiled by Lori Lewis, 695,000 stories are shared on Instagram, 28,000 subscribers are watching on Netflix, 500 hours of content are uploaded on You Tube, 69 million messages sent on Facebook Messenger and Whatsapp - all of these taking place in 60 seconds.
INSPIREFLIXhas undertaken to carve a positive niche in the deluge. We do not just put out any story on film. We are on the lookout for the ‘good finds’ – stories that inspire, build up, and create a beneficial impact on society. Anyone can tell a story but below are useful tips do better at it and a few tricks to avoid.
Let’s break them down to three core essentials:
Keep it centered
What is the central focus of the story?
Is it the character/s, the event, an idea, a conviction or insight? Build your narrative around it. Oftentimes in storytelling, one can easily get carried away and linger unnecessarily on some particulars, drawing the audience away from the focal point.
What is the central message?
What are you conveying? If you don’t have this clearly pinned down, the story will lack trajectory, meaning, and purpose. The notable poet and writer, Carl Sandburgh, had once said “I don't know where I'm going, but I'm on my way.” He, most certainly, had not meant it the way to go with telling a story. The central message is what takes the narrative home.
Concise but substantive
In this digital age, it looks like we’ve beaten the legendary 9-second attention span of the goldfish. Microsoft study has it that the human average time span has dropped from 12 to 8 seconds. This leaves your story less time to capture the interest of an audience. Brevity is key; let every word augment, not diminish the story.
Keep the integrity of the story
Story headlines scream for attention and many stories are being reduced to crass sensationalism. Avoid the trap. Keep the integrity in your narrative. The noise may catch attention, but only for a short while. A story in its purest form leaves enduring marks worth the journey back to its time.
Will you trust us with your story? Share with us what tips or tricks you’ve encountered in storytelling that may help someone else.