I have an embarrassing confession to make. I can easily shed a tear while watching a well-crafted movie. I really do. Someone in my family once teased me, saying that I’m so oversensitive that I would probably cry watching Daffy Duck.
There, I said it. Join my close friends and make fun of me. I’m a victim of the power of story to persuade and influence. My defenses are lowered, my disbelief is suspended and I’m vulnerable.
Not long ago, I was preparing for a technical presentation when I started wondering why movies can be so engaging and memorable while most presentations are comparatively dry and unremarkable.
Mainly thanks to Garr Reynolds and his magnificent Presentation Zen approach, I learned how to create slides with strong visual appeal: dense text and worn bullet points were replaced by a careful combination of words and images, creating a fertile ground for powerful metaphors and anecdotes.
Wow. I suddenly realized I entered the world of visual storytelling.
I also recognized, however, that my early work was somewhat episodic, like a movie with great special effects but a weak story.
It was then that I became almost obsessed by one single thought: could I learn the craft of screenwriting and adapt it to elicit emotions in my own technical presentations?
I wanted to become a better visual storyteller, going beyond my self-limiting goal of giving “right” recommendations delivered in a clear fashion. I realized I had a chance to find my own voice and give meaning to facts with my experience, passion, and subjective interpretation.
To my greatest surprise, I uncovered a fascinating world that is affecting my journey through life to no end.
Next week, I’m going to share some of my findings at the legendary Software Architecture Workshop in Crested Butte (Colorado), where some of the most renowned thought leaders of our industry will gather.
This adventure has just begun.
The rest of it will unfold in time.