11½ ideas when to use a digital story

July 13, 2016 | Blog-Admin1 | Change Stories, Methods & Tools |


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We made stories. Making stories is great learning. This we know, this we experienced. Using stories is the next step. In knowledge communication there are many options to integrate digital stories into sharing and learning processes.  In this blog post we collected 11 ½ ideas for you how to use your story or stories created by your colleagues.

Carmen Eckert, Leonie Pock and Nadia von Holzen, SDC

Idea 1: Giving a presentation

There are many moments during a presentation to switch to a (digital) story:

At the beginning you show a short digital story to bring your audience right into the heart of your topic.
In the middle of your presentation you use a story to bring your message right to the point.
Also for closing a presentation stories can be meaningful for further inspiration.

And what a well told story does, can be magic: With a story you can captivate your audience. You underline your key message and make your presentation concrete and inspiring. Stories transport information on many levels; therefore plan time to let the audience unpack the story themselves and work out what the story means to them; you might want to do this in pairs or small groups.

Idea 2: Launching a stimulating e-discussion

Why not starting your e-discussion with 2-4 short stories (of 3-4’) followed by questions for reflection and sharing of more experiences?

Idea 3: During a workshop

There are plenty of opportunities to make use of digital stories in a workshop setting; you can use stories at any moment to launch a conversation. Stories are great vehicle for sharing experiences. Participants can relate their own experience to a screened story.

Idea 4: In a report

Why not completing your written analysis with 1-3 stories? Stories capture learning, and illustrate key moments of the project implementation. This can bring your report to the point and could be about a moment of deep insight and learning, or a moment of change or a moment of struggle or success). The SDC Cooperation Office in Bhutan experimented last year with digital stories for their annual report.

Instead of our usual 20 pages report we made those 3 minutes videos which was more fun and enjoyable and also well received and appreciated by our colleagues at the heads office. They remarked, that the stories were very attractive and complemented well with the normal reports. So we have now decided that it will be a part of our reports.
Thinley Chenzom

Idea 5: Presenting a credit proposal

Also in credit proposals stories can have their place to illustrate the context and challenges, to bring to light what has been achieved in a previous project phase, to give voice to the beneficiaries etc.

Idea 6: In newsletters

Including digital stories into electronic newsletters is easy. A newsletter that uses text, photo and short video clips is more attractive. The network Migration uses audio-visual news regularly.

Idea 7: On the Sharewebs

The SDC Sharewebs are made for using different communication channels. Digital stories add an additional layer of information to your knowledge communication: e.g. stories make concrete experiences of network members visible; stories give contextual information.  The network DDLG included digital stories about the Workshop Experience Capitalisation Media.

Idea 8: In social media

Embed your stories into your blog posts. Social media tools like Twitter and Facebook are predestinated to carry stories to a wider audience.

Idea 9: As empowering instrument in projects

Stories give voice. And therefore digital storytelling (also participatory video) is an interesting participatory approach on project level. When making stories with project beneficiaries make sure the stories are heard by the relevant people.

Idea 10: In any meeting

In any meeting a digital or oral story can support your argumentation and clarify the value of your activities.

Idea 11: In the invitation to a workshop

What about including a short story in your next workshop invitation? Invite with a story and make your point why the upcoming workshop is important.

And in any conversation

Grab your smart phone and show your story.

Stories (examples) are a powerful way to increase the extent to which people understand exactly what you mean.
Mark Schenk

What are your ideas on how to use digital stories in your work?

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