Sunday, February 17, 2013

Pictures For The Ear: Emotions & Stories

In the Computerworld story which inspired this week's thread, cites a striking scene from the AMC TV series Mad Men about a memorable presentation.

In the show, advertising creative director Don Draper convinces Kodak to call its slide projector the "Carousel."

It's a powerful presentation because the whole time Don is talking, he's showing amateurish snapshots of his family, which is so powerful and evocative that one of his colleagues runs out in tears.

The scene was conjured up by writers who understand the overwhelming power of pictures.

1.  Stories

The human mind is hard-wired for stories. We crave them. We need them. We can't resist their appeal.

So tell stories in your "show." In fact, thanks to Facebook, texting, Twitter, Pinterest, email, phones, you have the capacity to constantly be in the moment of listener life right now, inviting her to share her family scenes verbally.
A good story has a beginning, a middle and an end and involves at least one protagonist -- a person that other people can relate to who experiences the events in the story.  In the beginning, there's a balance. In the middle, that balance is disrupted in some way. And at the end, a new balance is established. That's what a story is.  The key to bringing stories into your content consistently is to personalize the information you're already giving. Instead of talking about some big change your station went through, tell a story about the person or people who made that decision that led to the change, and explain what they went through to reach that decision.
            -- Mike Elgan
 2.  Emotions

"People remember and crave images and stories," he continues. "The other thing people remember is emotions. In fact, when your audience leaves the meeting room, your entire presentation will be judged on only one thing: How you made them feel."

Good emotions for radio talent to instill in audiences include happy, shock, makes me feel good, fear, nostalgia, joy and excitement. Use them all.
But most of all, people remember humor.

More Elgin advice:  "Don't do "schtick" or prepared material.  Don't tell jokes. Instead, expose the humor in the material you're presenting.  Instead of trying to go for the big laughs, convey the mildly amusing shared reality you have with your audience.

Keep it real.

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