Digital storytelling in 3 post-its

Storytelling (whether digital or not) is a skill that all those involved in communication and training should have in their locker. Any information can be communicated in a wide variety of styles, media or languages. The same message can be conveyed using a number, a description, a drawing or using narratives. Narratives, stories, episodes and anecdotes have incredible explanatory and persuasive powers. Storytelling is the language we use to make sense of our day, it is a way of explaining anything to a child. For millennia, we gave meaning to the world through stories of myths and legends. There is no need for substantial investments to use storytelling in our projects. You only need three post-it notes next to your PC monitor to avoid forgetting to use this powerful language. POST-IT 1: Am I telling of an experience about change? Storytelling is a space for events and transformations. All stories possess a narrative arc. If there is a message we wish to communicate (for example: “we can innovate internal processes by encouraging everyone to contribute to the improvement”), we can underline the message with a brief narrative in which there is a problem that is solved by a decisive event (a “happy ending”) and a sequence of events that teach something to the lead character. POST-IT 2: Have I introduced a figure that people can identify with? Narratives are most effective when we identify with the lead character or because we believe that they are similar to us or because we understand their motivations. A narrative must have a credible lead character, with their own personality, motives and point of view. POST-IT 3: Can I tell a story using a video or an image? In the first two minutes of the film “Forrest Gump”, a light feather is blown all over the place by the wind, without truly being the master of its course, but able to fly above everything else. A simple image that was the spirit of the whole story. Sometimes an image is capable of being a metaphor and evoking a very strong message. Digital media can lend substance and vitality to a narrative. We can also communicate strong messages through images or videos. POST-IT EXTRA: Everyone has a story. The language of storytelling can be used in any training project or internal communication. However, we must not limit ourselves to “telling stories”, we also need to “ask for stories”. A story is a space for sense-making and reflection. In order to give life and depth to a project, we ask people to tell us their episodes, through short videos that can be shared with others and online spaces dedicated to stories. The topic was discussed in posterLab no. 35: “digital storytelling”. Marco Amicucci

written by: Marco Amicucci , 7 June 2016

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