How Is A Story Told?

To make a story worth the listen, we need to take our audience from a starting point, through a crisis of some sort to a new place. And the word crisis in this context means a choice of several paths forward.

Let’s say we have a client who wants to go skydiving. This has been a long term desire. It has become, almost, an obsession. A support worker decides to investigate options rather than just assuming a wheelchair mobile individual would be ruled out of skydiving. The staff member either records a monologue explaining what they’re doing and why or better yet records a discussion with the client. Explaining this was a first step, they’re not in a position to promise anything but they are taking this desire seriously. We could hear the excitement in the client’s voice, building expectation in the listeners. 

During the research phase, voice recordings of Zoom meetings with skydivers would provide a deeper context.

After the research, recording the discussion between the client and the support worker, explaining the possible ways forward, listening to and recording the client’s reaction would all be relevant to the story. A few more or less steps in the process takes the story to jump day. Imagine the tension and excitement in the client’s voice, the calmness of the jump master and the soothing tones of the skydiver to whom the client is being strapped for the jump. Maybe a lavalier mic for the flight and the jump, maybe not, say some aeroplane engine noise and a little stillness. But definitely a recording of the client’s reaction on returning to earth. 

This is the sort of story suitable for building across a full ten episode season. Not necessarily filling each episode but as a backbone to the season with other stories wrapped around it. The key is to map out the plan and react as necessary to changes in the lived experience. 

I use this somewhat extreme example, skydiving, for effect. Any journey a client embarks upon could be subjected to this process to highlight your service’s values, ethos and practical application. Ensure your listeners have been on the same journey, a meaningful journey otherwise you are simply wasting a half hour.

That’s when you know you’ve told a story worth hearing!


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