Start with the Audience

Fujifilm X-E2, FUJINON XF 18-55mm, 

Have you ever seen the acronym WIIFM? It stands for Whats In It For Me. It is the most important part of telling a story. You must understand who the audience is so you can craft a story that will appeal to their desires.

What’s In It For Me, are without a doubt, the most important five letters in your business writing, your Web site, maybe even in your business success. Always tell people what’s in it for them when they do business with you.

If you try to reach everyone you will likely appeal to no-one.

Nikon D5, Sigma 24-105mm f/4 DG OS HSM Art Lens, ISO 32000, ƒ/9, 1/100
Think of you talking one-on-one with someone in your audience. You need to have them in mind before you even pick your story that you are going to work on.
For there to be a story we have these basic four things:
  1. Subject 
  2. They WANT something
  3. They overcome obstacles
  4. To get it
The audience wants something to. They want to make a good story part of their story. This is often where the audience in a call to action is able to be the helper for the subject to attain their wants.
When I am teaching Missions Multimedia Storytelling Workshop the hardest part of the learning for the student, by the way which is their obstacle, has less to do about learning to use the gear. The real struggle is understanding the storyline.
They must toss out so much because it isn’t engaging the audience. 
I get the deer in the headlights look over and over from students when they are showing me their work and I ask why should I care?
They are crafting a story that they are interested in and not one for the audience.
In the hero’s journey storytelling model discovered by Joseph Campbell and modified by Chris Vogler there is a meeting of the mentor usually in Act 1. The mentor can be the role of the audience when it comes to the call to action for helping the subject attain their goal.
The keys to a good storyteller is understanding that the Audience, Subject and even you as a storyteller all have a storyline. The key to the successful story is when the Audience, Subject and even you as a storyteller all are able to get what they want.
If your story seems to be stuck check and see which of the storylines [Audience, Subject, Storyteller] is having problems.
One of the key things to evaluate is to constantly be asking how does this help us achieve our WANTS/GOAL. If it doesn’t look at cutting it out.

Honduran Dentist prefers education to pulling teeth

Nikon D4, 14-24mm, ISO 12800, ƒ/16, 1/125, -1.0 EV—Off Camera Neewer TT850 using the Neewer 433MHz Wireless 16 Channel to control the flash

Dr. Natalia Velásquez Alonzo is a dentist in the rural Agalta Valley of Honduras. Here she is at her main office at Rancho el Paraíso of Honduras Outreach.

Fuji X-E2, 18-55mm, ISO 800, ƒ/7.1, 1/500

I went with her and the rest of the mobile medical team to a small village El Pedrero two hours north of the ranch on these dirt roads. I felt like a bobble head bouncing around for those two hours. About half way there the electricity to the area stopped.

Nikon D4, 14-24mm, ISO 100, ƒ/3.5, 1/1000

When HOI started going to this community they stopped before they crossed the river and would cross over in canoes. Today they have a bridge to get to the village. When they first started going this was what most of the village people lived in.

Nikon D4, 14-24mm, ISO 8000, ƒ/5.6, 1/250

The inside of their houses were dirt floors and walls they let the wind and rain through.

Nikon D4, 14-24mm, ISO 500, ƒ/3.8, 1/100

Dr. Natalia Alonzo worked for the government as a dentist before coming to HOI some five months ago. She went into the schools and taught as she is doing now for HOI.  Here she is teaching the students about dental hygiene in El Pedrero. She prefers doing this as to having to pull teeth.

Nikon D4, 14-24mm, ISO 1000, ƒ/8, 1/250

Many of the government dentists do not have enough supplies and so many of the patients have many teeth pulled with just one shot or none at all. Dr. Alonzo really likes working with HOI where she has enough supplies to use what would be normal procedures to those in the United States due to the giving that supports the medical team.

Nikon D4, 14-24mm, ISO 100, ƒ/5, 1/1250

This is the medical clinic in the village El Pedrero. The Toyota Land Cruiser is their mobile medical truck. North Point ministries helped with other groups to buy this vehicle through their “Be Rich” campaign. The idea started at North Point Ministries five years ago and caught on quickly. The message from the pulpit was very simple–you have it, they don’t.

Teams are going regularly from the US to help transform Honduras through HOI. The work they have done over the past twenty five years has gotten the attention of the government. Next month the President Juan Orlando Hernández and First Lady Ana García Carías of Honduras are coming to Atlanta to present HOI with an award for outstanding service to their country.