"People always say with stories: There needs to be a beginning, a middle, and an end. I disagree slightly. I feel like there just has to be an end... and it has to be definitive, and you need to indicate to the audience that eventually you'll get there. Because if it doesn't end, people will be furious. They want to go home, they have plans, they have parking arrangements. They just want some ballpark indicator of how long this is going to be. The key thing is starting with your ending and then building it backwards from there."
Last week at BIMS—after speaking for 30-plus minutes about the vital nature of digital design and the reading revolution that digital has thrust upon us—Mario Garcia, a Columbia professor and author of the new book, The Story, closed his well-received keynote by saying: "The takeaway is if you have a good story, people will stay with you... I don't sit here and lament what was. I celebrate what is. These are the best times to be a storyteller, but you have to explore all that is there."
How many of us compose, plan, design, write, edit, think and output on a laptop or desktop and then watch as others consume what we do on their phones?
That's the question that was front, center, behind and below in yesterday's BIMS Day 2 talk by Mario Garcia, a Columbia professor and author of the new book, The Story, designed to be read on—you guessed it—your phone.
"We are going through a transformation," Garcia said. "Six in 10 people now get news from their mobile device and it's going up every month. And 89% of people on mobile access news and information. We go to our phones an average of 114 times a day. [He tested himself one day recently and tallied 78.] And yet 75% of outfits plan, write, edit and design on a platform much larger than on what people will read it on."
So when Garcia wrote his latest book, he wrote and designed it for the phone— 1800 screens worth. When reading, people much prefer scrolling to s ...
A group I've written about before—Museum Hack—is revitalizing art institutions by telling vivid stories to their audience. "Storytelling establishes a universal way of communication," they write. "And because it invites audiences to fill in the blanks with their own experiences, it helps to set emotional connections..."
A key to making an idea sticky is to tell it as a story. Stories encourage a kind of mental simulation or reenactment on the part of the listener that burns the idea into the mind. For example, a flight simulator is much more effective than flash cards in training a pilot. The hard part about using a story is creating it. The best way to use a story is to always be on the lookout for them. Most good stories are collected and discovered, rather than produced..."
Most of us spend our entire lives surrounded by the stories we're telling," said Sarah Redohl in a webinar for the American Society of Business Publication Editors yesterday. "It's not that hard to pull out your cameras and start shooting those moments. The more you do that, the more proficient you will be at it. Start taking your phone out right now and start shooting videos."