A good story can simultaneously inform & inspire. It can be triumphant or sad or joyful or revolting. As nonprofit organizations work to build content and engage online audiences, storytelling plays an essential role. But knowing what stories to tell and how to tell them is not always an easy task.
The following articles that offer valuable insights into various means and methods of storytelling as well as a few regarding how and why stories resonate with people.
The Psychological Power of Storytelling – Pamela Rutledge, PhD, M.B.A.
“Stories are the pathway to engaging our right brain and triggering our imagination. By engaging our imagination, we become participants in the narrative. We can step out of our own shoes, see differently, and increase our empathy for others. Through imagination, we tap into creativity that is the foundation of innovation, self-discovery and change.”
Why Stories Bring People Together – Joshua Gowin, Ph.D.
“When you tell a story…you can transfer experiences directly to their brain. They feel what you feel. They empathize. What’s more, when communicating most effectively, you can get a group of people’s brains to synchronize their activity.”
What Makes A Good Story? – Simon Morden
“Something non-trivial has to be at stake. If nothing is at stake, then why should anyone (least of all the characters) bother? It doesn’t have to be earth-shattering: the fate of a world, a nation, a president, a person even. It just has to be important to the characters concerned.”
“If your message is clear, it’s much easier to create persuasive web copy. Be clear. Be specific. Be bold.”
Telling Stories With Photos – Darren Rowse
“Short Stories photos are often shots that leave the viewer of the photograph wondering about what they are looking at – not because they don’t understand it but because they intrigue and leave people imagining what is going on behind the image and what other future images of the scene might look like.”
9 Key Elements That Can Help Journalists Be Better Video Storytellers – Casey Frechette
“Video stories, whether features, spot news or documentaries, tend to rely on the same set of elements to inform and engage viewers. These building blocks separate video from other storytelling formats, and the more you’re aware of them, the more efficiently you can create videos that have an impact.”