Stories should be told in English, either in writing, video, or as a slideshow presentation. This page will give you some tips and ideas for your story.

TIPS ON HOW TO WRITE YOUR STORY

  • Take some time to consider how you want to tell your story. Is it going to be told through the eyes of someone in your organisation? Can you describe the most interesting or fascinating aspects of your organisation through a funny story? Think about who has been in your organisation for a long time who might have some interesting stories to tell. How about a new member’s view of what you do?
  • A good way to think about stories is that personal stories are more engaging than stories which list a bunch of facts. (Not that we’ve got anything against your facts, in fact, there’s a box on the right hand column of every story on stories.coop which is set aside for precisely that information, but they can weigh down a story).
  • The more concisely you can tell your story the more likely you are to grab and keep the interest of your reader. Stories.coop can take stories as long as 550 words approximately, but you might find you can get across the same information in as little as 200, or even 100, words.
  • Using a combination of short sentences and long sentences in a story helps to build the impact of the tale for the reader. It makes a story easier to follow as well.
  • Take a look at some of these stories to get a feel for how to tell a story well: (Argan TreeKeta SandlandersPeople’s Food Co-op)
  • Use the highest quality pictures to illustrate your story that you can find. Pictures of people shaking hands, or accepting a cheque, or standing in front of a sign or logo won’t tell a story as well as pictures of people doing their jobs, or high quality, professionally-taken close-ups of individuals.

TIPS ON HOW TO VIDEO YOUR STORY

  • Video story-telling has many advantages in that it is an easy format for viewers to absorb a story without having to do much work themselves.
  • Making a video can be as simple as putting together a series of still images – it doesn’t need to be moving footage to make a Youtube video (see TIPS ON HOW TO MAKE AN AUDIO SLIDESHOW below).
  • Youtube has many tips on how to produce videos with moving footage at http://www.youtube.com/t/yt_handbook_produce

TIPS ON HOW TO MAKE AN AUDIO SLIDESHOW

  • Record your story on your computer, or smartphone, or video camera. It can be as simple as recording your story in your own words on your computer. Or you can find someone in your organisation, a co-worker or a member, who would like to speak about the organisation. Maybe you would like to combine the two elements. Play around with your positioning in relation to the microphone to make sure you’re recording the best quality sound. You can also use music – as long as you have permission from the artist/s – and other sounds which might help tell the story. In the case of a dairy, for example, why not record the sound of your cows coming in to be milked.
  • Gather together the photos you want to use. You want to think about which pictures you have and can take which will help you to tell the story. You might be surprised about how many pictures you will need. Expect that it will take at least 30 really good photos to make an audio slideshow work well. But anticipate that you’ll need double that at the beginning before you begin teasing out the best photos.
  • Divide your photos into sequences. The best audio slideshows are between two to three minutes long – in our opinion. It’s long enough to tell a story but short enough that it doesn’t drag on for your viewers. Imagine that for a slideshow of this length you will need as much as 40 photographs divided into between five and six sequences. The photos should be a mixture of close ups and wide-angled shots.
  • Pull the sound and your photos together. There are a couple of video editing programs that most people have – iMovie and Windows Movie Maker are the most common. But there are many others that you can download for free just by searching on the internet.
  • Join Youtube, if you’re not already a member. We’ve decided to use Youtube as our video sharing platform, if you’re not already a member you can join by going to www.youtube.com
  • Upload your video. Follow the instructions on Youtube to upload your video. You can also upload videos that already exist on Youtube to the stories.coop channel or you can upload videos from other formats like vimeo. Give your video a title and tell viewers briefly what it’s about.
  • Add some tags to your video. Adding tags to your video helps it be picked up and viewed by other Youtube users. Consider adding some tags like coops2012 or coops.
  • Lookout for your video on other websites as it is shared around the co-operative sector. Watch our partner websites, including www.2012.coop to see if your video is chosen as a Story of the Day in 2012, or see if it features on the leading co-operative website in the UK, www.uk.coop.

TIPS ON HOW TO PREZI YOUR STORY

  • Pictures tell a thousand words. Use pictures as much as possible to illustrate the story you want to tell.
  • Short, sharp statements as opposed to long paragraphs get across a story. See here for more detailed instructions on how to use prezi (www.prezi.com)