Technology & Storytelling

I got sucked into a vortex again. If you’ve ever been on TED.com, you know what I’m talking about. You attempt to watch one talk (ranging from 2-18 minutes) and all of a sudden, you’re engaged in hours of thought-provoking, imaginative, and powerful presentations, and half your day disappears.

Last time was on TED, I came across this three-minute gem from Joe Sabia about the technology behind today’s storytelling.

“In 6,000 years we’ve gone from depicting hunters on cave walls, to depicting Shakespeare on Facebook walls.”

We’ve blogged many times about the power of storytelling and even the fundamental commandments to follow.  What sets Sabia’s TED Talk apart is the realization that the stories we tell and how we structure them has remained unchanged.

While the art of story telling has stayed on a steady course of uniformity, how we tell them is the interesting evolution. Stories today can be found in YouTube videos, and on Facebook wall posts and responses across the world. Stories can be delivered by iPad in a child’s bedroom or submitted on a blog. Stories can even be reported in the moments they are unfolding to the entire world. Technology is giving us many new ways to re-energize and recreate past stories, and deliver new ones. It’s exciting to think about how we’ll be hearing stories in the future.

Sabia uses his iPad as the delivery mechanism for his own story to great success. What type of technology could you use to assit your storytelling? Cleary, Sabia practiced regularly and streamlined his presentation down to the second before going on the stage, which is a good reminder for us to do the same no matter the technology we plan to use to deliver a message –iPad, PowerPoint, or otherwise.

Still, it’s the story that matters more than the platform. An emotionally engaging story that is tailored to the audience is not only more memorable, but motivates the listener to shift how they think or act about a topic. If you have a story about your product, service or idea, use it! If you don’t have one, be on the lookout for the right story for you.

How do you incorporate stories into your communications? What technological platforms do you use?

2 comments on “Technology & Storytelling

  1. Amelia,
    Thanks for drawing our attention to this. Very creative and fun! In addition to the novelty of the IPAD story telling, the speaker added the dimension of music. That caught my attention. Music can take you there to the moment or set the mood, just like a musty smell takes you to the memory of your grandmother’s attic. CBS had strict rules when I started in the news business. “NO MUSIC unless it’s a natural part of the video”. Now the use of music is used all the time for the purpose of vivid story telling. Maybe MUSIC (and even SMELLS) are part of the SHARPS we encourage to emotionally connect us. What do you think?