4 Ways to Make Your Stories Pop

07.27.2011By

You matter. Your work matters. It’s not just the results gained, but it’s that feeling you have and the impact you can see. What if you could share that feeling with others? Make the story matter–beyond its wall, beyond its boundaries and beyond its normal audience. Here are four ways to make your story pop:

1. Tell Your Story Across Time

Stories are powerful with context. Have you been working to address a certain issue over a year? Five years? Ten? If so, write down the milestones you met. Do research the history of your organization and cause. Identify what current events and policy changes may have impacted your story’s evolution. You could write this up in a narrative. You could also put it together in a graph or show it visually. Or you can show this information in an interactive, visual timeline using Dipity.

An Interactive Timeline from Dipity

Anyone can use Dipity, a free storytelling tool that enables you to put visual, interactive timelines on your website. According to the Dipity website, “Users can create, share, embed and collaborate on interactive, visually engaging timelines that integrate video, audio, images, text, links, social media, location and timestamps.” The timeline above represents the discussion and activity around the federal debt ceiling. It’s just a screenshot–when you’re looking at the real thing, you can interact with the timeline to get more in-depth information and larger visuals.

BONUS: HOW TO Create a Timeline on Dipity

2. Present Your Story

But go beyond the normal slide presentation. Experiment with tools such as SlideRocket and Prezi. Both help you add pizzazz to your presentation, making it more visual, professional and interactive. Sliderocket also gives you analytics on your presentation–what slide people stay on the longest or where do most people stop viewing. As for Prezi, it helps you add dimension and creativity to your presentation in a whole new way.

If you’re looking for some guided help, refer to two great books: Presentation Zen and The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs and take your presentation to the next level.

BONUS: HOW TO Make a Great Prezi

3. Choose Your Own Story

Remember those Choose Your Own Adventure books? You have a story. Why not ask for involvement throughout by having readers make a choice and then go to a certain page depending on that choice? Some people have taken this approach and applied it to social media using tools such as Twitter and YouTube.

Choose Your Own Adventure Video
The above example comes from droptheweapons.org–an initiative working to encourage youth to drop the weapon and choose a different ending for their life. It starts with a brief 34-second video where it introduces a choice. The viewer then gets to choose how the story ends by clicking on different buttons which leads the person through different story experiences.

Jonah Peretti of Buzzfeed and Huffington Post fame also created a Choose Your Own Adventure story for Twitter. Using customized bitly links, you can choose your own adventure right on Twitter.

4. Make Your Story Ubiquitous

As Nedra Weinreich said, “We live in a transmedia world” with information, media, marketing and messages coming at us from all sides. If you want your story to be all around you and all around others, then transmedia may be your answer.

Simply put, transmedia is a storytelling approach that uses multiple platforms to convey different parts of a story versus telling the same story over different media. Some benefits to this approach include engaging people where they are, involving them in the story, and creating a different storytelling experience. To learn more about transmedia and to connect with other transmedia storytellers, join the new Transmedia Network for Good group on Facebook.

BONUS: Transmedia Storytelling for Social Marketers: A Sample Campaign

How are you telling your story?