“Storytelling is the game. It’s what we all do. It’s why Nike is Nike, it’s why Apple is Apple, it’s why Walt Disney built Disney World and it’s why Vince McMahon makes a billion dollars.”
Video storytelling is all about sharing your story and inspiring your audience to follow your call to action. Too often this simple procedure is ruined by complex stories that an audience fails to understand.
The reason an audience watches your video content is because it enhances their lives in some way. They feel the video content has educated, entertained or enhanced their lives in some manner. If your video storytelling leaves them confused or annoyed because they fail to understand it you have failed your audience.
As a visual storyteller you need to ensure your audience will understand your story. There are a number of ways to simplify your storytelling and I have highlighted a few to get you started:
Value Your Audiences Time
“Time is what we want most, but what we use worst.”
The easiest way to keep your video storytelling simple is to value your audience’s time. If you think about telling your story while wasting as little of your audiences time as possible you will by necessity stick to the most relevant points. No time will be wasted with including unnecessary facts or descriptions and the result will be a concise, relevant short story. Your audience will appreciate your effort and be more inclined to follow your call to action.
Keep To The Point
“Plot is what happens in your story. Every story needs structure, just as every body needs a skeleton. It is how you ‘flesh out and clothe’ your structure that makes each story unique.”
When telling a story it is easy to get diverted and not stick to your plot. With video storytelling this risk is even higher when there is so much to worry about such as sound, scripts, locations, budgets ect. This is why it is so important to stick to your original plot and ensure that it is an easily understood simple plot that will not confuse your audience.
Your plot should be a logical sequence of events that easily flow together. The plot should support the story theme and guide your audience through your story. Simple plots have the power to elevate your storytelling, as the audience is not struggling to understand your story and can spend the time understanding its personal relevance to them.
Use Simple Language And Visuals
“An intellectual says a simple thing in a hard way. An artist says a hard thing in a simple way.”
The key to great video storytelling is to keep the language simple and make sure the visuals reflect your plot. If your audience is struggling to understand that obscure French Foreign Cinema reference you thought enhanced the story you loose your audience.
Keep the language simple and ensure a child would understand the visual storytelling. Keep in mind it is all about telling your story in a way that makes your story easy to understand and maximizes the time the audience thinks about the story and not your format.
Keep It Personal
“There are many truths of which the full meaning cannot be realized until personal experience has brought it home.”
John Stuart Mill
No matter how simple you make your video storytelling you will not connect with your audience if they do not have a vested interest in the subject. Before you start your video storytelling you need to research your topic and video audience and understand what they want from you.
You need to know where your subject matter and their interests meet and how you can make your story relevant to them. Always ask yourself the question
What’s in it for them?
And always tailor your story around your audiences needs.
Add A Sense Of Urgency
“We live in a time-crunched world, and just about everything we do seems to be urgent.”
To keep your audiences attention when the plot is slightly complicated you need to add some drama. Nothing too complicated just add a sense of urgency to the plot and keep your audience sitting on the edge of their chair. This means that the audience will concentrate on what is coming next and will tolerate small deviations from a simple plot because they are personally interested in the outcome.
“The world is not made of atoms. It is made of stories.”
Telling your story is one of the most effective ways to impact the world we live in. The key is to keep your story simple and think about your audience and what they expect from you. Remember you gain nothing by trying to confuse or annoy them and everything by telling a story that they can easily relate to and be inspired by.