What is the first thing that comes to mind when you see this provocative photo. I’d wager you want to know: WHAT ARE THEY LOOKING AT! WHAT DO THEY SEE? I WANNA KNOW.
What power is captured in this photo of a tree and a bunch of crouching guys taking photos? What is it that they can see, but we can’t? This photo shows the sheer power of the unseen, anticipation, the question of “what is going on, anyway?” Not having an answer is frustrating, even infuriating. We want more. This moment is not over. It leads us on into the future without anything more than the promise of an answer to our questions.
That is what happens to us when we listen to a captivating story. We humans, young or old, relish a good story. Without coaxing, we put ourselves into a story. We picture ourselves walking the walk, (bravely) taking the chance, avoiding (narrowly) the danger, falling (head-over-heels) for the hero
Story is the most powerful element in any presentation. It will entice your audience into your point of view, seduce them into sharing your excitement and your passion for your idea.
Just the Facts, ma’am. Never!
Without a story behind your presentation you are reciting a sequence of facts. As Sargent Joe Friday (actually never) said: “Just the facts, ma’am.” Fortunately for Joe’s devoted radio and TV followers, Dragnet did a good deal more than recite the facts. That wouldn’t be enough to entertain his audience. Nor would it yours.
Even data contains a story. In fact, data without a story that explains it, unfolds its dry calculations into people, change, improvement, even failure, is just lines and numbers.
But, hey, back to this photo. Maybe Lucia will tell us what they were looking at. Please, Lucia?
I agree with Susan that story is powerful and a photograph that evokes one is the most compelling for me. And this story has humor. Guys with their cameras crawling around to get a closer look under a tree. That’s funny. But they must know something. What made them even look under there. Can you imagine?
The real story here may be a disappointment to you. Bu this Japanese Maple is the most photographed tree in the Portland Japanese Garden. Photographers, amateur and professionals alike, come from near and far to see its fall colors. I can tell you that Portlanders actually call the Garden to find out when the colors are at their peak before venturing up to the garden. As you can see, photographers, even yours truly, capture it from every angle: the side, top, and even under the tree.
This goes to show that a story, even one that could be disappointing at first, can evoke wonder and amazement.
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