The Future of Storytelling is Digitalizing the Planet

If you’re trying to get consumers’ attention, Use digital storytelling. Tell your story digitally to reach the consumers.

As humans, we always absorb stories rather than facts & figures. Listeners always pay attention and always connected with them.

Humans are emotional creatures. My impression is that Digital storytelling allows us to digest information more quickly because it connects that information to emotions.

Digital storytelling uses images, videos, text, and any other digital content in a story to convey a piece of information. The story, along with its content, is the carrier.

So let’s dive into the topic.

What is Digital Storytelling?

Digital Storytelling refers to telling a live story on stage or otherwise to a live audience or medium. Written storytelling, such as novels and short stories, is simply called writing.

In a general way, Digital storytelling is using words and often images to convey information that people will respond to both intellectually and emotionally.

As a teaching tool, it helps learners pick up concepts more quickly and remember them better.

It’s also especially useful from various perspectives.

Historically, storytelling has been used since humans lived in caves to:

  • Entertain
  • Teach about the world
  • Teach about morals/values
  • Remember and celebrate a shared history/culture

Storytelling revolves around several crucial elements, including:

  • Characters
  • Setting
  • Plot
  • The perspective of the narrator/audience
  • Purpose for telling the story

The basic structure would be:

The Setup or Introduction where you set the scene, introduce the characters, and outline the objectives.

i.The Premise or Body where you include all the details

ii.The Punchline or Conclusion where you sum everything up

While this would be the most basic story structure, you can mix up the order as you want. The key to telling a good story is timing and getting the flow just right.

Digital Storytelling Resources

A couple of books I would recommend on digital storytelling are:

  • Multimedia Storytelling for Digital Communicators in a Multiplatform World by Seth Gitner
  • Story Circle: Digital Storytelling Around the World by John Hartley
  • Digital Storytelling: A Creator’s Guide to Interactive Entertainment by Carolyn Handler Miller

Digital Storytelling Examples

  • The Anatomy of Story, Truby
  • The Writer’s Journey, Vogler
  • Writing the Breakout Novel, Maass
  • The Weekend Novelist, Ray
  • The 90-day novel, Watt
  • The Secret Miracle, Alarcon
  • Break Into Fiction, Buckham
  • Writing Fiction, Burroway
  • Twenty Master Plots, Tobias
  • The Seven Basic Plots, Booker
  • The Story Structure Architect, Schmidt
  • Immediate Fiction, Cleaver
  • The Emotion Thesaurus, Ackerman
  • Scene and Structure, Bickham
  • The Scene Book, Scofield
  • Make a Scene, Rosenfeld
  • Showing and Telling, Alberts
  • Dynamic Characters, Kress

Digital Storytelling Secrets

There is a different perspective of every individual; I will address some of these separately.

Authenticity

Your audience can feel by way of reading your body language if you are not authentic. The more truth you share in your story, especially if it is something important and emotional to you, the more engaged your audience would be.

Authenticity can also empower your public speaking abilities. If your story means a lot to you, and you have to share it, it will empower your voice to the point of authority.

Body Language

Humans communicate 70% by the body and 30% by words. Never mind if the percentage is accurate, you got the point. The way our eyes, eyebrows, lips, forehead, hands, shoulders, and moves when the mouth is speaking enhances the meaning and motivation behind our words. Make sure you speak with your whole body, meaning use your hands to make gestures, your legs to move around on the stage if you had to freely, and your head and face to nod and negate.

Eye contact is necessary for connecting with your audience, which makes your public speaking easier and better. Make sure you have at least three “anchor” individuals in your audience at three different spots to look at them from time to time. Turning your head to the left and right side of the stage to reach audience members who are not right in front of you create a greater connection.

Elements of a bona fide Story

STAKES. Your story has to have a stake, so people care.

CHANGE. Your protagonist (in live storytelling, you) ideally should change at the end of the story. Or someone or something else needs to change to enhance the resolution, the lesson learned, the theme.

Live storytelling does, to a great extent, follow the universal story structure of the Three Acts or the Five Cs: Call to Adventure, Complications, Crises, Climax, and Conclusion. Use that in your live storytelling. For more about universal storytelling structure, see below underwriting.

Humor:-

Humor sells as “blood” and scandal sells in news-telling. That’s a word I have coined! Be sure to use appropriate humor at every chance you get during your five or twelve minutes. You can, almost, never go overboard with humor.

Timing:-

Prepare your story according to the time giving to you. If you go over your time or finish way sooner than others, it can ruin a good story.

Bonus point: Use right words, beautiful words, power words, just like you do in writing, to enhance your storytelling content.

Voice:-

Your voice matters a lot in how your audience receives you. Be yourself. Let your background and personality shine through your performance.

Make sure you use the right tone in your story. Remember to use the three P’s of public speaking accordingly: Pitch, Pause, and Pace.

Emotional ending

The ending could be happy or tragic, but in either case, it has to be an actual ending, a resolution of some kind, so your audience don’t go “So what?” A live audience will mostly take away with what you say in the end.

Ensure your ending means something to you or the world and is emotional—because storytelling in the grand scheme of things is an emotional bonding between humans.