Sunday, January 20, 2013

Characteristics of a powerful video story – Nine examples

If you developing a video story, there a number of key questions you have to ask yourself before you start filming:
  • What is the story about?
  • Why are you filming this story? What is the purpose you want to accomplish?
  • Who will be the target audience? And what is the essence you want to communicate to them? And how are you planning to disseminate this video?
  • What is the context?  What is the background of the story? When did it take place? From whom’s perspective is the story told?
  • Where is the videomaking taking place? What is the setting and the environment where you are filming? What videoshots do you want to make?
  • Who are the actors in the video?
  • What is the language and the subtitlng?
  • What is the estimated time span of the video?
  • When? Where? And How are you going to do the filming?
  • What will be the structure and logic of the story?  What are a number of principles you apply in the video you are producing?
  • What kind of music will be supporting the story?  Are you planning to use a voice over for telling your story?
All the aforementioned questions will help you or your videomaking team to develop the story board.  However, the filming and the video editing phase are following crucial steps in making an attractive video.  There are five  characteristics that help to build a powerful story.

The video is:
  • Engaging from the beginning to the end
  • Having elements of surprise
  • Finalizing with a clue at the end
  • Contains humor
  • Simple, short and visually attractive.
 Following is a compilation of powerful stories, which are having some of these characteristics.

A.      Engaging from the beginning to the end
1.      Crisis in the Congo   (26  min.)
This video describes in an involving way the causes and the effects of the crisis in Eastern Congo.  This documentary composed  of interviews with a number of key experts explaining the history and the current situation describing the civil war and the role of the international community and international businesses in this conflict. The video story is well built up supported by visuals and engaging from the beginning to the end.     See video;  Crisis in the Congo…..

2.     The story of milk (3 min)
In this story the visual images help to support the story teller. Throughout the video a feeling is created about something magical and mystical. Dreaming and imagination drive the story and keep me as a watcher involved.  See video;  The story of milk. 

B.      Surprise
3.     Photocopier  (1 min.)
This advertisement has a nice surprise at the end. Machines also has a life and their tastes.  See video Photocopier.    
4.     A  squirrel playing soccer(1 min)
What makes a squirrel to play soccer? The video shows something that you would not expect an animal would do.  See video;    A squirrel playing soccer   

C.      Clue is at the end
5.     The Bridge with Paul E. Hendricks  (13 min.) 
An actual life story on how the interviewed person develops in his relationship with his partner.  The clue about his life learning is at the end.  See video; The Bridge with Paul E. Hendricks.
D.      Humor
6.     Nolan ’s Cheddar  (1 min.)
On a funny and humoristic way, the video shows what cheese can do with a mouse. The music supports the video on a powerful way.   See video; Nolan’s  Cheddar  
7.     A Pepsi please! (1 min)
This is a  girl who wants the real Pepsi.  She communicates and uses the language in the setting she is ordering her cola.  See video;  A Pepsi please!

E.      Simple,short and visually attractive
8.     Nobody tells who are beginners (2 min)
This video has the principles of KISS.  Keep It Short and Simple.  The video explains that creativity and success does not come by itself. It needs determination and persistance.  See video;  Nobody tells who are beginners
9.      Hans Rosling’s 200 countries, 200 years in 4 minutes  (4 min.)
In 4 minutes a powerful lecture is given on how the status has been developing in 200 countries around the world. Again the story is simple, short and visually powerful in its communication.  See video;  Hans Rosling’s 200 countries, 200 years in 4 minutes. 

If you want to read more on how to develop a story watch the slide share presentation about Building Story Worlds.   Or watch the video >>> MSL Group Story telling – why is story telling important?    

Sunday, January 13, 2013

How to deal as a trainer or teacher with uninterested participants

Every trainer or teacher will face it one day.  A participant who is not involved, not doing their tasks and not participating in the group discussions and exercises.  Although I have been involved for more than 20 years in training, teaching and facilitation, it is still a challenge to face and to deal with an uninterested participant.
Here are some tips and hints on how to intervene;
1.       A private talk, one-to-one
Let’s face it. Try to discover why somebody is not involved or interested.  During a break, after the training or at an informal moment you decide to talk to the person.  Doing the talk in a relaxed atmosphere, for example a walk or a drink, helps to bring the person at ease.  Questionning and inquiring on how the participant feels in the group or participates in the course, helps the participant to make a choice if the training or the course is the most appropriate way to learn and how the person can take the initiative to lead their own learning proces. Sometimes, the participants decides to quit the training since the participant has other expectations or other motives to learn and develop.

2.       Be confident, be relaxed and show confidence
The more you show confidence, the more enthousiastic you are about what you are teaching or facilitating, the more people get triggered or interested.  Feeling safe and knowing that the participants are guided by somebody who has to share something interesting,  the less people feel disinterested.  Watch the video: How to  be an excellent teacher.

3. Address the person in the group meeting or class and stimulate their imigination
Address a person directly in class, if you feel the person is not participating.  Simple positive inquiry questions can help to activate uninterested participants.  What example do you have? Can you mention the last three topics we discussed?  What useful input have you heard sofar? Do you have to add something?  Simple positive focused questions can make people feel, that it is worth to participate.

4.     Give the person a responsibilitiy or a task
Assignments or tasks can do miracles to get people activated.  Asking the person to do a presentation, a reading assignment or asking to make the minutes can provide some useful insight if the person is committed to participate in the group and willing to share and make an investment in the group.  It does not always work, but it can provide input on making your next intervention;  a private talk, one-to-one.

5.       Define joint learning goals and expectations from the beginning
Start each training course or class with an intake, where each participant is made responsible for defining their own learning goals. These learning goals and expectations on how the participant would like to develop are the departure point for the training or class.  During the training time is planned to monitor and evaluate if the learning goals and expectations are being met or that the course should be adjusted.  Participants needs should of course match the capacities and know how of the teacher/ trainer.  So learning goals are a joint effort where the trainer and participants are feeding each other.  Defining joint learning goals from the beginning is an essential step in preventing having unintersted participants later on during the training.
6.       Make the group responsible to get the uninterested person involved
Peer participants can play an essential role in supporting an uninterested person involved. People within the group know about the group dynamics and characters within the group. As long as a teacher or a trainer is able to make each participants’contribution part of the team performance or vice versa, the group can deal with the behaviour of an uninterested person. As a teacher or trainer you can:
  • Formulate ground rules and measures to maintain them from the beginning
  • Define joint learning goals
  • Have participants to work in small groups and give them small group assignments

In case you have tried the aforementioned interventions and the group can still not deal with an uninterested participant, you can help the group by walking away or showing your emotions. It can be a risky intervention, but it can also be a helpful one. It can confront the group if they are really motivated to learn from their teacher and trainer and it confront them on how they would like to maintain their group values, beliefs and ground rules.