When was the last time you told someone a story, or heard a story that impacted you in a profound way? We have all had amazing experiences that have changed our lives. Sometimes telling stories about those experiences has a huge impact on others, and sometimes those stories cause a ripple effect of change in the world. Digital storytelling is a unique and memorable way to connect with people through the power of story.
What is a Digital Story?
A digital story is a three-to-five-minute movie created using video editing software. It involves writing a story, voicing that story, choosing visuals and music to compliment the story, and finally, sharing the story with your audience.
Five reasons why you need a digital storytelling facilitator:
1: You have a personal story you want to share
Telling your story can be a deeply healing experience. I know that from personal experience as I am a medical mom. My son was born eight weeks early with congenital heart defects and congenital scoliosis. I documented our journey through photography and that allowed me to share our experience with our friends and relatives who didn’t live close to us. Our story connected all of us in a very meaningful way. It allowed us to heal through watching the videos together as a family, and it allowed us to see the grace in our journey. We are grateful to be where we are now.
2: You want to connect with others in your community
Visual stories connect people in a very powerful way. Perhaps your story has an element of education, allowing others to experience life from your point of view? Perhaps your story shows the power of working together as a community and invites others to join you in creating something meaningful? Perhaps it is a story of love and human compassion that draws people together from all over the world to make a greater impact? Whatever your story is, digital storytelling can help share your story in a way that inspires action.
3: You want to propose a new idea to a non-profit organization or business
Why not wow them with your support, advocacy, or fundraising efforts? Creating a digital story is a step above traditional pitch strategies. Digital storytelling allows you to connect with the people you want to engage with on a deeper level. Co-creating a digital story with a trained facilitator allows you to craft a professional three-to-five-minute video that will draw your audience in. This allows them to connect with your story through the lens of their own experience. Music, words and carefully curated images create a means for them to find common ground, and that connection fosters trust – one of the foundations of a great partnership.
4: You want to engage with your stakeholders
Digital stories are a powerful tool in stakeholder communications and advocacy, engaging your customers by showcasing the human element of your organization. Imagine a story circle: leaders within your organization, volunteers, support teams, employees, customers and other stakeholders sharing their own examples of what your organization means to them, how they are connected with it, and what impact your programs or services have had on the community. Not only are each of these participants reframing their own thoughts and stories as they resonate with one another’s experiences, but within those stories are a number of ways to connect to the heart of your customers through digital storytelling. Imagine the impact!
5: You want to share your origin story
By now you’ve probably heard of “The Great Resignation”, where employees are leaving their jobs in droves. According to a recent article in Forbes magazine, the reason people are quitting has to do with toxic culture – companies are struggling to keep employees happy, engaged and present. In particular, employees may feel misalignment with the company’s vision and values. Sharing stories creates culture. When your employees know your origin story, and align with your vision and your values, they feel more connected with the business. When owners, managers and team members all act in alignment with the company’s vision and values, it demonstrates integrity and that is part of creating a great place to work. Digital stories are an easy way to share information within an organization.
You might have noticed a common theme in some of the five reasons you need a digital storytelling; digital storytelling moves people to action.
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Mohammad Anwar, The ‘Great Resignation’ Is Your Company’s Culture Wake-Up Call. Forbes, March 25, 2022, https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbesbusinesscouncil/2022/03/25/the-great-resignation-is-your-companys-culture-wake-up-call/?sh=6f0ecd1e2964.