The slogan “The personal is political” is being stated since the second half of the 20th century as a part of women’s right movement and struggle for equality. Digital Storytelling can help women to exercise the practice of telling their own personal stories with their own words and tone of voice without mediation. Women can also share their personal stories to widen the public sphere and open the discussion to find solutions for violation of women’s rights.
How can Personal Digital Storytelling Help Women?
Every social impact organization working to make a positive change in women’s lives can help women increase their own voice by giving digital storytelling trainings.
Digital storytelling provides an opportunity of self-representation, reaching and creating a network of activists, and lastly enables women construction and reconstruction of the discourse. In that sense the practice of digital storytelling becomes a practice of emancipation and empowerment.
What is Personal Digital Storytelling?
Digital storytelling is a wide term. There are several methods for digital storytelling; one of them is creating personal stories by using digital technology and sharing them in social media by ordinary individuals. It is crucial to emphasize the word “ordinary” because of the fact that the increased access to technology and Internet enabled ordinary people to be the content producers apart from big media corporations. It can be said that every tweet, every YouTube video is helping democratization of media. We can tell our own stories and we can listen to the other people’s stories easier than ever.
The steps of personal digital storytelling
This type of digital storytelling is the simplest way of telling your story, making the private public and showing that the personal is political. It is not a method to tell an organizational story to reach more audiences on its own. However, an organization can use this method to help people they are working for, tell their own stories unmediated and increase their voices. Also these individual stories can be added to the grand narrative of the organization and contribute to the organization’s story as a part of a well planned campaign.
1-Write your Script
First of all, you need to select a topic and start to write your script. It will help you to construct your digital story. It needs to be short and focused to keep attention of your audience.
2-Create a storyboard
After you write your story, you need to visualize it. Your storyboard will be the blueprint of your story. In that part, you need to think which image to use in which part of the story and plan from the beginning to end. You can download storyboard templates online or you can use pen and paper.
3- Record Your voice
You can use your phone, computer or an audio recorder to record your voice. Try to record your voice as quite as possible and pay attention to the outside sounds like air conditioner etc, if you don’t want them to be in your recording. If you are using a microphone, there is a big possibility that some of the letters will pop while you are talking. There is a very easy way of preventing this by covering your microphone with a tissue paper. You can download and use the software Audacity to record your voice.
Here is the tip for visualization of your story. You don’t need to represent every sentence with an image. Your images should contribute to your story and explain something extra that you are not telling in your script. You can use your own photos or use other images especially if you want to stay anonymous. Try to use copyright-free images. Go to Google > Settings > Advanced Search. In here you can choose the type, color, resolution and usage rights of your image. There are several options in terms of usage rights, like, free to use share and modify. You can also use free stock images from several stock image sources.
4-Add background music
Background music also contributes to your story and help you creating the mood that you are aiming with your story. There are a couple of websites that you can download copy-right free music. Make sure that your background music is not louder than your own voice.
5-Share your story.
Easiest and the most efficient way of sharing your story is sharing it in social media. However, finding the right platform is also very crucial. After you upload your story to one of the video sharing platforms like Youtube or Vimeo, you need to let people your story exists. You can share the link of your story from your social media accounts.
P.S. No matter if you want to tell a social impact organisation’s story or your personal individual story, you can learn more about digital storytelling by downloading our free Digital Storytelling for Social Impact Guide-I now.