Reality Bites

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Why are audiences attracted to manufactured reality? TV shows like Survivor, Shark Tank, The Real Housewives of... and The Bachelor all edit massive hours of footage to make the scenarios appear "real" to viewers. Yet, to the experienced filmmaker or sophisticated audience, these programs can appear pedestrian and artificial. It doesn't matter. If the ratings are high, sponsors sign on, and the programs are renewed.

But when a beautifully crafted and creative TV series or film comes on the scene, it can change the industry. Consider movie classics like The Godfather, Star Wars, Casablanca, the Bond franchise, or Lawrence of Arabia. Or more recent TV series like Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones, Ray Donovan, or the Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. Some are based on factual events, while others are inspired by literary sources. Then again, many are entirely made up by talented writers.

When you prep your next presentation, put yourself in the mindset of story creators. Reach higher than a typical business presentation. Shakespeare accessed uninspiring chronicles of English lineage as the basis for the world's greatest plays. In your research, consider how to take factual data you are compelled to present, and build a story around it. Add dialogue, characters, and unexpected twists and turns. When describing an event, use similes, metaphors and analogies. Why not move the needle, and your audience? May the Force be with you.

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