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How to Craft a Compelling Narrative



The central point of any “about me” video is you and your story, but to make that story come to life your visual narrative needs to shine. As a broadcast journalism student, my producers stress the importance of captivating an audience in a world where digital content is expanding while attention spans shrink to minimum capacity. It isn’t always easy to make yourself known in the oversaturated web, but there is a lot you can do make your video pop. To separate yourself from the rest of the pack, there’s a few basics you should get down as you craft your visual narrative.



When a viewer stops to see your video, you’ll only have a few short seconds to keep their focus so make it count. Like I said, attention spans are short. The best way to deliver a strong hook is by using your strongest visuals first. There may be all sorts of dazzling content down the line, but if the viewer is turned off by a low-quality or boring clip they’ll have no reason to wait and see. In my work, I like to begin with my most lively shot – a dog barking, people having fun dancing, meditation students sucking in a deep breath. It not only begins with a spark of life, it sets the tone for the rest of the piece. You should do the same by finding something that stands out about your business and present that first, so your audience is captivated by what makes you unique.



Video is a wonderful way to tell a story, but your visuals need to be more than pretty – they need to serve a purpose. The images need to highlight your message. If you’re talking about how your clothing business takes pride in handmade items, show the sewing process. When you highlight how much fun the customers have, show people having fun and laughing. Your words will have a bigger impact and make the narrative easier to follow with appropriate images supporting what you have to say. Without these elements in sync, your viewer may get distracted by the visuals and miss the point of what you’re trying to say. Of course, there may not be a specific clip for everything, like if you’re discussing ideas that aren’t tangible. In these cases, do your best to find something symbolic to serve the same purpose. A sunrise could be appropriate when you discuss how your company has grown, while an employee having a friendly conversation with customers could represent your commitment to integrity and honesty. Get as creative as you want, so long as your visuals are serving your narrative well.



“Well, I like to facilitate animal adoptions.” Fascinating, right? No, I don’t think so either. How about, “Our goal here is to find as many forever homes for these animals as we can. For this little bunny, it means everything.” That’s infinitely better. Both get the message across, but only one of them will stick with you. That’s the power of using colorful language in your narrative. By expressing yourself in an enthusiastic, articulate way you’ll be able to inspire your viewers to be just as invested in your story as you are. A good way to find the right words and phrases to include in your video would be to take time to write down everything that comes to your mind when you think about what makes your business special. Think about why it matters, what feelings it inspires in you, the impact its had on other peoples’ lives. Now, tell your audience.



This is a very effective element a lot of people overlook. Have you ever listened to someone talk to you on and on uninterrupted for too long? I certainly have. It doesn’t take long for me to doze off without a little jolt of life. That’s where natural sound comes in. Break your narrative into several smaller ideas and use the natural pauses in your video to let other sounds transition between thoughts. Natural sound can be anything non-vocal noises you can use to cushion your narration, even a moment of silence can work well. A small break from the narration will make the video less monochromatic and give the viewer a moment to absorb what your message. I like to think of a narrating video story like lifting weights: If you push through for too long without stopping to catch your breath, you’ll inevitably wear yourself down.     


Keep these elements in mind and you’re ready to start crafting your businesses’ video. While all of these are important considerations, remember to just have fun with it at the end of the day. You won’t convince other people to appreciate your business if you don’t first make it enjoyable yourself.




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