Compelling Visual Storytelling
Touch more hearts. Inspire more action.
Are you a communicator at a purpose-driven organization?
An entrepreneur with solutions for a better tomorrow?
A mission-driven visionary looking to find your own voice?
If so, this course is specially designed for you — taking into consideration your time & budget — so that you can:
- Take the guesswork and frustration out of engaging your audience with photos and video stories.
- Discover how to connect heart-to-heart with your audience, how to humanize your message and deliver actionable inspiration each and every time.
- Learn how to ask for what you need — better images and better stories from your photographers and videographers. Learn how to talk with them more effectively and get the step-by-step for how to support their creative flow (instead of inadvertently getting in their way).
Next Course Starting Fall 2018
I showed up thinking I already knew how to tell our story visually. I left understanding that there were whole new possibilities for reaching and resonating with our audience. With a nice blend of lecture and personalized exercises, practical examples and strategic frameworks, Natasha made this course focused, fun and immensely useful for mastering all forms of visual storytelling.
— Kot Hordynski, Director of Marketing & Impact, ICA Fund Good Jobs
Hi — I’m Natasha, author and teacher of this course.
I was 22 years old when I was sent on my first extensive photographic assignment, as the recipient of a public service fellowship from Stanford University.
I remember pinching myself to know if it was real: 3 months in Nepal to document the lives of children so that local nonprofit organizations could use them better engage their supporters.
As soon as the new cameras made cinematic storytelling more affordable than ever before, I started Micro-Documentaries and we were back in the Himalayas (filming this time), and in Africa, Latin America and in my own backyard in San Francisco. In a few short years, we had captured visual stories of visionaries in more than 30 different countries in order to inspire others to join them in their missions. We produced many more micro-documentaries than any other group we knew of.
It has been a wildly-enriching experience for which we are infinitely grateful.
Our micro-documentaries have been honored at film festivals, shared by mass media channels like Upworthy and Fast Company, screened for the likes of Obama and the Dalai Lama, featured on Time Square and shown on the screens of Carnegie Hall. They have reached expansive organic viewership online and have been broadcast to millions of people. The films have also been used for raising funds, strengthening thought leadership and advance movements.
This course comes from the exact blueprint of what we learned along the way so that you can stand on our shoulders and discover how to regularly deliver your own consistently-compelling visual stories.
I recommend this course for anyone who is working to share the story of their purpose-driven organization. In place of traditional advertising and self-promotion, Natasha teaches you how to craft powerful editorial content that makes an emotional connection with your audience and frames your organization as an inspiring voice for change and possibility.
— Halley Bass, Business Coach and Web Designer, Halley Claire Design
READY TO GO?
Compelling visual storytelling is key to advancing your mission as a purpose-driven organization.
However, going from concept to successful execution can be hit-or-miss.
When the magic happens — it's just downright extraordinary.
But... when your videos or your photo essays fall flat, your team ends up spinning cycles, wasting precious time and resources and, even worse, not engaging your audience in a positive way.
So how might you get more consistently-compelling visual stories from your photographers & videographers?
That's what this course is all about.
Please know — we have not held back. In this curriculum, we are sharing our very best secrets that we have iterated on over the course of producing more than two thousands short films. They way we see it, this is our way of being a small part of advancing your vision for a better tomorrow. Ultimately, this is what motivates us to do this work.
It was fantastic to be presented with a relatively simple framework from which we can scout and create the kind of stories that will better engage our audiences. The course was very action-oriented, with content and tools to help better understand the effective elements to building a powerful visual story. I am feeling much more confident that I will be able to better guide our vendors and clients to produce effective films. Fascinating also that this framework can be applied loosely to storytelling in all forms of collateral.
— Elise Carlaccini, Creative Producer & Project Manager, University Development and Alumni Development and Alumni Relations, UCSF
Five main modules with easy-to-follow video lessons provide the framework and methodology for you to develop skills and confidence for touching more hearts and inspiring more action with your visual stories.
In the Welcome Module you get an introduction to your instructor, what brought her to this work and why she cares so much about your success in visual storytelling and in advancing purposeful movements. We also map out the course journey so that you know exactly how we are getting from here to the finish line. And finally, we get on the same page about exactly what we mean by story – especially to make sure we can clearly distinguish it from a presentation.
MODULE 1 — Start with Your Mindset
How you understand your role as a communicator and how you nourish your clarity, perspective and courage matters because the impact you can have with the images and words that your put out to extensive audiences can have a significant impact. This is why we start here.
YOU WALK AWAY WITH: A refreshed and more expansive understanding of your potential as a communicator as well as with a personal nourishment program for regularly strengthening clarity, perspective and courage within yourself. This way you will be more likely to deliver visual stories that are more inclusive and inspiring rather than polarizing and combative.
MODULE 2 — Know Your Audience
When you are clear about who your audience is, it is easier to frame stories that inspire change. In this module, you will gain a deeper understanding of how to get to know your audience, so that this can guide your video storytelling and increase your impact. And this is important because knowing your audience well helps to make your films more relevant, watchable and actionable.
YOU WALK AWAY WITH: A customized Audience Listening Routine and your very own Audience Portrait.
MODULE 3 — Refresh Your Organizational Narrative Framework
In this module we have a good look at your overarching story or the narrative framework for your organization or your department. Is it too focused on issues? Or too focused on solutions? Both are problematic for different reasons.
YOU WALK AWAY WITH: An Updated Organizational Narrative Framework.
Your framework will provide the context for your stories. The relationship between a framework and a story is a bit like that between a Christmas tree and the ornaments. The framework is the tree - and the stories are the myriad colorful figures that will light it up.
A natural place for your Framework is on the landing page of your visual stories and in the descriptions of your visual stories. Including it in your media pitches will also make it a lot easier for bloggers and journalists to write about your short films and other visual stories and to place them in context in an editorial way for their audience.
MODULE 4 — Produce Compelling Visual Stories
Next we get into the heart of the matter – the visual stories themselves. You will learn which stories are best suited for you to bring your framework to life. You’ll see how to clearly distinguish between a story and a presentation and we'll demystify the anatomy the components that makes a visual storign compelling. We'll show you our very best secrets for captivating your audience visually and touching their hearts through your photos and video stories.
We'll also explore humanization and stereotypes. Specifically, you will learn how to apply the right antidote to the stereotype that is getting in the way of you accomplishing your mission.
YOU WALK AWAY WITH: A fresh list of ideas for compelling photo and video stories, a system to rank and prioritize them for production and clarity for how to ensure that they will translate well visually..
MODULE 5 — Support the Creative Flow
Finally, we will walk you through how to ask you for what you need. Here you get the step-by-step guidelines for how to support the creative flow of your photographers and videographers and how to avoid getting in their way. Just in case.
Becoming a more confident creative collaborator puts you in a better position to get the best visual stories from visual professionals.
YOU WALK AWAY WITH: A set of detailed Creative Collaboration Guidelines. With these in had you will gain more confidence and be more effective when collaborating with photographers and filmmakers.
A complete visual storytelling toolkit you can use over & over again
Each Module is complete with document templates, checklists and reference sheets that are ready for you to customize and to put into use for consistent and compelling results. With these in hand, the knowledge you gain in the course is translated into practical action.
Visual storytelling is hard to get right. This course helped demystify the art form with lots of nuts and bolts strategies, worksheets and experience-based theories.
— David Griswold, Founder & CEO-Sustainable Harvest
READY TO GO?
Special Bonus: Support + Private Online Group
Yes—that’s right—support! Support to successfully complete the course and get on with the work of improving our world for generations to come.
While the core curriculum takes you by the hand and leads you every step of the way, we are committed to you getting to the finish line. For this reason, during your first 12 weeks, we will be regularly hopping in to answer questions and facilitate the Private Online Group.
You will also have access to the Private Online Group beyond that, so that you can engage with others who have chosen the same path. The insight and support generated by the group will enable you to:
- tap into a trusted community for new ideas, insights and inspiration.
- ask questions and troubleshoot challenges standing in your way
- get an extra set of eyes on every piece of your video story system from those in a community who are in the trenches with you
- invite your new friends to watch and share your videos
This is a private community of communications leaders who are building a better world for all of us and who are serious about producing compelling video stories and getting them in front of huge audiences.
This is not film school. This course is NOT intended to turn you into a filmmaker and it’s not intended to give you the technical skills to film, edit and compose.
It will, however, put you in a much better position to consistently get the best work from your photographers and videographers so that you can touch more hearts and inspire more action.
About your Instructor
Natasha Deganello Giraudie is a filmmaker, teacher and nature-mindfulness guide. As Creative Director of Micro-Documentaries, she helped to pioneer the genre by producing short films to help purpose-driven organizations around the world share their visions for a better tomorrow. Natasha is the author of this course, Compelling Visual Storytelling, and a frequent teacher at universities like Stanford and a variety of purpose-driven organizations. As a nature-mindfulness guide she helps people reconnect deeply with nature in order to find support for their personal practice and more alignment in their lives. She currently chairs the board of directors of the Dalai Lama Fellows and serves as an Advisor for the Biomimicry Institute.
Natasha’s talks are invaluable for our students. She turns her cutting edge experience in new media and new organizational structures into inspiring and enlightening anecdotes and insights.
— Professor, d.school, Stanford University
Want to learn how to craft a powerful vision aligned with your mission and tell your story in a thoughtful, compelling and clearly intentioned way? Don’t miss this workshop.
— Matt Bautista, Queer land Trust
A very engaging workshop that covers all the bases for making short films in the modern world, from strategy to storytelling to production.
— Andy Westhoff, Visual Storyteller, Autodesk
Watching videos with Natasha and seeing the world through her lens was incredibly valuable. So too were the step-by-step breakdowns, methods and models for developing a clear vision for a story and creating emotional connection with an audience.
— Alyshia Silva, Director of Development, Food First/Institute for Food & Development Policy
This workshop teaches you how to identify and tell the best stories for your organization through short films. I loved the strategies for how to get personal with your audience, humanize characters, avoid reinforcing stereotypes and inspire people with possibilities.
— Erin Thompson, National Marketing Coordinator, Canine Companions
Who is this course for?
This course is designed for communicators working in purpose-driven organizations who are actively including visual storytelling in their communications plans and for visionaries putting forth a path for a better tomorrow for all of us.
Creative professionals like photographers and filmmakers who work, or aspire to work, with purpose-driven visionaries and are looking to strengthen their skills in visual storytelling are also welcome.
What is the return on investment?
What would it be worth to you and your organization if: You didn't have to spend dozens of hours and tens of thousands of dollars reinventing the wheel of visual-storytelling? You didn't have to produce another photo or video story that fell flat? You could significantly advance your organization's mission with compelling visual storytelling? You could energize your team by showing them results of their hard work?
How long will it take?
This course is designed to be completed on your own schedule, a few hours per week, in 8 weeks. A handy planner will keep you organized to stay on track with the online lessons. If you have other commitments and need to take it more slowly, or if you would like to go faster, you can also do that. Regardless, the more you are able to focus and commit to completing the course, the faster you will be able to see results.
Will I be able to access all of the video lessons at once?
Upon registration, you will receive one new video lesson per week (or one lesson every other week, if you are on the payment plan).
How long will I have access to the course?
The course will be accessible for you for a full year and you will continue to have access to the support group after that.
Do you offer the course as a workshop?
Is there a guarantee?
We offer a 60-day “TRY IT, TEST IT, APPLY IT” money-back guarantee. If you’re hesitating about the course and are not quite sure about enrolling, we want to make sure to give you every opportunity to put Short Films, Big Impact into action and get your video stories in front of 5-figure new audiences. Instead of the typical 30-day guarantee, we will give you a full 2 months to go through the training, keep up with the assignments, implement the systems, and be ready to create and deliver your video stories. If you reach out within 60 days to show us that you’ve kept up with all the work (you have to show us proof!), and for some crazy reason still haven’t seen any progress in your confidence to create and deliver video stories to huge audiences, then we’ll be happy to return the investment. But, you DO have to do the work. Short Films, Big Impact is for leaders on a mission who are committed to advancing their movements with their video stories, and not for people who would just like to superficially have a look and collect some information. We will be strict on this last point—you absolutely must do the work and put the strategies into action to be eligible for a refund. There’s so much transformation waiting for you on the other side of this training, and since our main goal is your success, we are happy to offer you extend this guarantee to help hold you accountable.
Do you offer scholarships?
Our hope is to offer this workshop for the benefit of a wide range of people and as much as we have tried to make it affordable, we realize that the price might not be as accessible in all circumstances. For this reason, we are happy to offer a number of discounted scholarships. Please apply here.
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