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Faith In Action

On very few occasions do I find myself stuck somewhere without the ability to hop into my car and head to store or run an errand. I rarely give thought to the fact that I am rather mobile. But in every town there is a segment of the population that isn’t as mobile.

Faith in Action helps to fill that gap for those who do not have their own transportation. Part of Faith in Action’s mission is to provide rides for adults over 60 to and from the doctor’s office, the grocery or other locations they need to go. Transportation is only part of their mission, they also arrange for volunteers to call and to visit those that are homebound.

Around Thanksgiving, Faith in Action contacted me to produce a video that told the stories of both volunteers and care receivers. So we identified 3 volunteers and 3 care receivers and made arrangements to have them tell their stories.

CHCC Testimonial

I’ve had the opportunity to produce several videos for the Community Health Care Clinic. I am always amazed by their work and how much of an impact that they have on our community. Even with the recent reforms in health care, there are thousands of people in and around Bloomington-Normal that cannot afford health insurance. That’s were the CHCC comes in to help serve those that otherwise would not have an option for health care. Most recently, we produced a patient story that CHCC could show to their supporters.

Community Health Care Clinic

One of the great joys of helping to tell stories through video is when I have the opportunity to partner with an organization like the Community Health Care Clinic.  I’ve had the opportunity to work with the CHCC several times now and am always amazed by what they do. Through volunteers, donors and doctors, the CHCC helps meet the needs of the medically underserved population of McLean county through the operation of a free medical clinic.

I met John at his downtown studio where he was surrounded by easels and tables filled with brushes and pastel paints. While I was capturing some footage of him working we talked about his artistic influences and what drove him as an artist. When we sat for the interview portion of the video, John told me about how he came to the CHCC when he discovered that he had stage III cancer but no insurance to cover treatments. Fortunately, it is a story that ends happily.

Amazingly, John’s story isn’t unique.  Every day lives are made better because of the work of the Community Health Care Clinic.

You can find out more about the clinic here

Telling your story well, when less is more

 

How can less be more, especially when it comes to telling your story? When we have an opportunity to tell our story, often times we include too much information. We want to include the most minute details and highlight what is interesting to us. Being succinct is an art, especially when it involves something that you are passionate about. So how do tell your story well, with less?

 

1.  Try to forget what you know

Well, okay not everything but most of it. When we are passionate about something, we learn more about it and the breadth of our knowledge can be expansive and sometimes boring. Because we’ve worked hard to learn something, it becomes difficult to imagine not knowing it. As a result, we can become poor storytellers. In the book Made To Stick, Chip and Dan Heath call this “The Curse of Knowledge.” They sum it this way:

Think of a lawyer who can’t give you a straight, comprehensible answer to a legal question. His vast knowledge and experience renders him unable to fathom how little you know. So when he talks to you, he talks in abstractions that you can’t follow. And we’re all like the lawyer in our own domain of expertise.

 You don’t want to overwhelm your listeners with your knowledge, you’re helping them understand.

2. Get back to the basics

To be free of the Curse of Knowledge you have to think like a non-expert. Think back to when you were first learning, you started with the broad concepts. Remember what it was like to be a non-expert and use that as your framework to structure your story telling. With the basics in mind you can then adjust your video accordingly to your audience.

 

3. Stay on topic

A story that wanders all over is not a story that will hold someone’s attention. Once you’ve found the subject of your video, be willing to make the hard decision to leave some material out. The scope of your video won’t allow for everything. Choosing one or two key ideas also helps to bring out the best during interviews.

 

4. Be Succinct

What’s the best length for my video? As short as possible and it depends. Wistia, a video hosting site (more about them later) does extensive analytics of how people interact with video. Check out this chart from Wistia.

length-matters-1
The longer your video, the less likely it will be watched all the way through. Your video needs to be long enough to convey your message and not much longer. Remember you don’t have a captive audience and there are tons of cat videos online.

This short, and certainly not exhaustive, list of suggestions can help you to cut through the “more” of wanting to include everything in your video. But when you’ve taken the time to hone the story and get down to the heart of the message, you’ll end up with a video that says more.