How your story tells you how it wants to be told

February 15, 2017 | Blog Admin | Let's Talk Visual |


Rating: 4.8 out of 5

Beat Rüdt

Irritated by the title of this post? You shouldn’t be. During the “Lunch & Learn” events and the multimedia and video workshops we learned, that there are a lot of good stories at SDC that are worth to be told and that can be told in many ways.

By Beat Rüdt, MAZ



As an organization that is based in Switzerland and is doing good work all over the world, SDC must keep track of all its activities. Not only to justify the work to the public, but also to spread the word internally, to all the co-workers who deal with similar projects and get similar experiences.

The wish to share knowledge leads to written reports and a lot of conferences; and then again to long reports documenting what happened at the conferences.  The co-workers are confronted with a lot to read – much more than they can handle.

The goal must therefore be, to summarize the facts in a way that makes it easier for the recipients to get informed. How are we going to do that?

The right form for every aspect of the story

At MAZ – the Swiss journalist school, we put a lot of thoughts into the question how information is transported in the most optimal and powerful way. Our tip: Find the accurate form for every aspect of your story. For example:

  • Use graphs, if you talk about numbers
  • Use video, if you want to show something that is moving
  • Use am map, if you want to show, where your story takes place

Too obvious? Well, look at the reports you create and the ones you receive. You will find out, that even those simple rules are not always kept.

And of course there is more. When do you use 360° photos? When is a storymap or a timeline a good tool to visualize your thoughts? Our answer looks like this:

Multimedia Flowchart MAZ


Multimedia Storytelling flowchart by MAZ

You start with the simple question “what is the story about?” You answer every question with a simple “yes” or “no”. The flowchart guides you to the most adapted forms that help you to tell your story in an attractive and meaningful way. A list of tools supports you to create those forms. In the end, you will have found a way to inform your colleagues in an appealing, time-saving way that is fun to create and fun to read – for the benefit of better distribution of your information.

Link to the flowchart:

Related stories




Comments to“How your story tells you how it wants to be told”

  1. Thank you Beat

    I really liked your introduction: though text is here to stay, it can be enriched with visual elements. This is a new language that takes time to acquire. Thus, this flowchart comes very handy. – I especially liked the table of links to different online tools.

    Then again, rules are here to be broken. I often find movies that break conventional story structures and visual forms more compelling. Somehow the creator thought about his/her choice to break the rule. This extra thought often goes beyond choices about physical aspects of your subject (as used by the chart). – But I am sure I am telling you nothing new.

    Thank you!


Leave a Reply