Supported Stories

Tuesday, February 6, 2024 at 7:54:02 AM Eastern Standard Time

We all tell ourselves and each other stories to help us understand what is going on in our lives. The stories can show up in very many places and in many ways. They can be printed, they can be performed, and then, of course, they can be streamed or electronically posted and published.

The story is generally carried by the words, which are then able to be reinforced by rich media content, such as music and images. The ease of capturing images, video, and sound today is incredible. We all have gigantic tool kits, combining hardware and software to capture, modify, process, and post our stories.

Although Marshall McLuhan said the Media is the Message, it is still helpful to have a story to ground all of this multi-dimensional content and delivery.  It is sometimes true that a picture is worth 1000 words. It is also sometimes true that a short phrase can capture the essence of a much larger message, such as:

 What’s in it for WE instead of What’s in it for ME.

Once you know the essence of what you want to say, you can create additional supporting content that helps drive the message home. The power and beauty of a media-rich story is that it can contain not only information but also knowledge embedded in a context to make it experiential and, therefore, more emotionally relevant or sticky.

Unsupported stories may more easily slide by without sticking, which is the reason to try to support them when possible. Of course, most of us are quite capable of internally supporting written or spoken stories by imagining the imagery and even sound effects. And yes, there are stories that are not as effectively told through words as through other art forms. This is why humanity has learned to express ourselves through sculpture, painting, photography, dance, music, and more.

At times, what is being expressed to both the audience and the presenter is not even clear to either of them. Words are inadequate to encapsulate the multi-dimensional universe we live in. But if you want to tell a story, it is worth your while to attempt to use words, for they are the most easily passable baton. At least they were until recently, but now with ubiquitous smartphones. We can show somebody an image or a short or long movie effortlessly. 

Now, when we are creating a story, we have many more options about how to support it with either continuous or interleaved integrated rich media content. Our ability to communicate has exploded, and this is a very exciting time because of it.

Tell Supported Stories