Elements of Video Storytelling

In this week’s class we opened the topic of storytelling and how crucial it is for an organization to be efficient when attempting to move and persuade its audience. In order to tell an effective story through any medium every aspect of the story must be given equal value. From this week’s articles and web videos I have learned the key element to storytelling. The key element is what you lead with in your introduction. This will define and set the tone of your story, and will determine the audience’s perceptions of the story as a whole. This also leads to the level of interest the audience has within your video or blog. For example, in this week’s class we were required to view a short video clip for a charity fund for water. However, this video was not what I had expected it to be. Instead of showing how scarce water resources are in foreign countries it started off showing a compassionate wish of a little girl Rachel. On her ninth birthday she had wished to raise three hundred dollars for charity: water in order for fifteen people to drink clean water. Tragically she was killed in a car accident. As a result people responded to her death by donating money to make her wishes come true. A month after her accident more than 1.2 million dollars was raised for the charity water foundation. This was an example of credibility and how this tragic story brought a personal touch to the story as a whole. The way in which this organization used video and efficient storytelling gave new light to this charity. Rather than posting Rachels story on a blog post or status update, the organization felt it would leave more of an impact through video. According to videographer Jamie Pent, “People are inspired by other people,” she says. “When you realize that somebody else is like you, that’s huge.” Capturing the storytelling process through video allows us to relate to those we are viewing on camera. This video also highlighted some of David Lavandas storytelling tips to produce persuasive messages. For example one tip David offers us is to start with a person and his or her conflict. The charity water video clip did just that by using Rachel as their example. This increased our interest in Rachel’s wish by adding how old she was, where she was from and who she made this wish to. As a result charity water produced a viral video that not only gave remembrance to a beautiful little girl, but how she solely changed the world through her actions. Elements like these are what organizations need to highlight when presenting stories through videos and webcasts.

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