The challenge of telling compelling stories…everyday…

I’ve been working in this business for a short 8 years.  And over the last 8 years I’ve learned so many different techniques in telling a compelling story.  It’s changed over time too.  When I started as a production assistant, reporters at that station barely had cell phones, didn’t use Facebook and the station website was managed by one person.

Today we met with the station consultant about storytelling, compelling live shots and demonstrative stand-ups.  I always walk away from sessions like today, with a new inspiration on how to tell stories.  Though I don’t always agree with everything that’s suggested, I usually walk away with something that I can work on.  Today I was told to shoot more stand-ups in my stories.  He said viewers are home watching the story and they are waiting to see me.  For me, this is hard to do because sometimes I feel like I am taking away from the story by putting myself in it.  Take my soldier homecoming story for example:

This story captured so much of the moment. It took the viewer to the moment of a surprise homecoming. I felt like seeing me in that story would actually take away from the story. But I guess it depends how you look at it.

But this story definitely needed a stand-up in it. I needed to be in it to demonstrate something:

Bottom line, I walked away from today with a new focus on how to make my stories more compelling. I walked away with a reminder about engaging the audience in a conversation and telling a story that appeals to them.

I leave you with a quote I have on my desk:

“Great stories hang in the viewer’s ears and catch the viewer’s eye. Great stories aim for the viewer’s heart.” Al Tompkins