A picture is worth a thousand words

You’ve heard it a million times, but no matter how old the adage is, it has never been more true than it is today. We’re constantly looking for faster ways to do things – some logical; others absurd – and the same concept applies to storytelling. There are definitely times when thousands of words works and is appropriate but, more often than not, it is unnecessary and ineffective.

The truth is, nothing grabs a reader’s attention and holds their interest like a photo; or, better yet, several photos (or other types of images – graphics, maps, illustrations, etc.). Then, help the reader follow along with short blurbs or captions that reinforce the photos’ meanings and steer them to the next image.   It wasn’t all that long ago that we measured the quality of a story by its word count. The bigger, the better, right? There’s a reason writers liked getting paid by the word! But our world has changed and, in most cases, that approach no longer earns its money.

We’re an instant-gratification society with short attention spans, busy schedules, and a near constant desire to be amazed and entertained. It’s tough to do that with 35 inches of black text. A creative display with impactful images and concise descriptions is more likely to attract eyeballs and engage an audience.

There has always been an art to storytelling but, now, art is actually telling the story.