On Technical Storytelling

Effective storytelling is a multidimensional activity. It begins with a deep understanding of the topic and ends with an impression left in the viewer’s mind.

To leave a meaningful impression I believe you have to connect to the soul of your audience. That sounds a bit funny – explaining smart grids by connecting to the soul. But that’s what it takes.

A beautiful, meaningful video can make that connection.

The iBook is an amazing platform for communicating ideas. A mix of text, photos, diagrams, and embedded videos, that can really bring a story to life.

Video is truly transformative. Something that would take pages of text to only partially describe can be completely explained in a few seconds of video.

Case in point, I’m producing an iBook for a federal land management agency on using wood chips to heat buildings. The trucks that deliver the chips often have a “walking floor” that automatically pushes the chips out the back – how? I don’t think I can explain that, but the video we shot can. It’s amazing – and fun. Everyone loves that part.

Video interviews are great, too. They give the viewer an immediate sense of who a person is far better than any other media. Are they trustworthy? Are they competent? Are they like me?

I think the Internet has democratized information, but it has yet to democratize understanding. These integrated storytelling packages might really, really help.