TechSoup Digital Storytelling Challenge – Only 5 Days Left!

Are you ready to change the world in 60 seconds?!?!  So are we.

That’s why we’re proud to announce that Get Storied is partnering with TechSoup for the TechSoup Digital Storytelling Challenge, a month-long photo and video competition happening this February. I’m a judge in this year’s competition and have offered a pretty sweet prize for the winner (described below).

Your task, should you accept it, is to make a one-minute video or a five-photo slideshow that captures the mission and impact of your organization.   Submission is free and the winner gets a bunch of amazing gear plus two free passes to our very own Reinvention Summit 2.

The “challenge” part of the competition is the deadline.   Submissions officially close on February 29, 2012, so you’ll have to work fast. But heck you can record a video in minutes or a day for that matter.

Seem like too much to handle?  No need to worry – I’ve put together a few resources to help you tell an amazing digital story.

Here are four essential tips for making an award-winning video:

1.  Have a Story That’s Worth Telling

The first thing you need to know is how to tell a good story.   Fortunately, TechSoup has tons of resources to get you thinking about storytelling. Last year, I was part of a webinar with Rob Kershaw from the Center for Digital Storytelling entitled “How to Tell Your Digital Story”.  The video is also great if you’re just looking explore storytelling styles. The episode covers a bunch of important storytelling stuff, including:

  • Essential Elements of Great Stories
  • Tips on How to Bring Your Story To Life
  • Ways to Develop a “Finished” Story

2.  Know What You’re Getting Into

Making a video can be maddening if you don’t know what equipment to use or how much money to spend. For some quick DIY help, Evonne Heyning’s blog post “Digital Storytelling Methods: Time and Resources Needed?” offers a complete breakdown of the equipment, time, and money required to make a top-notch video.  It’s a must read for first timers. By the way, did you know that you can make a video for free and upload it in under an hour using XtraNormal?!?!

3.  Connect With Your Audience

As a digital storyteller, you have to make every second count.  The trick is to connect with your audience. The winner of last year’s competition, Mountaintop Library Expands Horizons, told a moving story about how a library in a rural village changed the lives of the villagers.  Check out the video below:

To get results like this, make sure your video answers the following questions:

  • Who’s in your target community?
  • What is the problem the community is facing?
  • How is your organization working to solve the problem and change lives?

4.  End with a Call To Action

Give your audience something to do after the video is over.  Whether it’s leaving a comment, sending an email or sharing the video on social media. If people are touched by what you do, get them involved! For more tips, check out this year’s blogs, webinars and tweet summaries.  You can also track the conversation on twitter by following the hashtag #tsdigs. Even if you don’t end up entering the competition, it’s totally worth checking out TechSoup for more resources. Good luck!  And remember: It only takes a minute to change the world.

For more on storytelling, sign-up for our free 5-part video series on storytelling in the digital age. It’s part of the launch and pre-party for Reinvention Summit 2, the world’s largest virtual conference on storytelling in the digital age, happening online from April 16-20. Be there or be square.