The Power of Digital Storytelling

Robin Smith

Robin Smith

Smith’s session was centered on the power of conveying a story and how we can use these stories to effectively reach and educate our patients.  She believes that while data gathering is important to organizations, it is also important to be able to tell a story because “ultimately you need to put a heart in your data” in order to make an emotional connection to another human being.  She quoted Helen Osborne’s insightful point that “when you tell a good story, you can frame important messages in ways that make them memorable for your listeners.”

Story telling is a “powerful tool to engage, inspire and promote learning”. Smith discussed various ways stories can be gathered and the steps you should take in order to create an effective piece.  She also provided tips on how to identify a good story, how to interview, and how to get the appropriate releases. Furthermore, she outlined the aspects that make up a good story, such as having a Hero, describing their obstacles or why their story is important, and defining a clear beginning, middle and end. One suggestion she provided was to interview your patient or client.  She recommended to audio tape the interview, transcribe the interview and then have it reviewed by a third party.  She also stresses the importance of pictures to capture a visual image of the story.

Smith demystified the process of creating a video story and walked attendees through the steps of creating a powerful video piece. She emphasized how important it is to keep record of the digital stories you collect for purposes such as patient and client education, marketing, training, and advocacy.