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Dan Young
KGCB Prescott

The Gateway to the Heart

 

 

 

“People will forget what you said. People will forget what you did. But people will never forget how you made them feel.”  - Maya Angelou

As she turns on her car and reaches for the buttons on her radio, it isn’t the words you said yesterday that will make her want to listen today.

It’s the way you made her feel yesterday that will make her want to feel that way again today. If our goal is to connect our listener with God, then this decision is a big one, indeed.

The part of her brain that makes decisions (the orbitofrontal cortex for those keeping score at home) works hand-in-hand with the area of her brain that processes emotions (we feel you, limbic system). They’re really good friends, and they don’t like to do things alone.

I love the method Jesus used to lead people into making good life decisions… he told stories! He engaged the emotional part of their brains to sway their critical thinking. As an on-air host, you are doing the same thing.

But there’s more to it than just telling stories, right? Because some stories move us and inspire us, and other stories bore us to tears. We need to tell the right kinds of stories, with the right elements included, and the wrong elements excluded.

The difference is usually the camera angle, or the perspective from which the story is told. The right camera angle will automatically filter some elements of the story out, and focus on others. By filtering out extra elements and unneeded info, you are boiling your story down to its very essence, which should illicit the emotional response that you’re looking for. The right camera angle gives your story focus.

If you’re trying to connect somebody’s heart to God, you can only do it by engaging their heart first, not their head. The right camera angle is the gateway to their heart.


I was going through some old photos this weekend, and ran across one I snapped in Colorado of a beautiful little waterfall.

 

 Okay, so I’m not the best photographer in the world, but it was a nice scene.

 

Especially when you consider where I really was. Yeah, I was in Colorado, but I wasn’t exactly hiking through the foothills… Here’s the same shot, with a slightly different camera angle…

 

It’s not quite the same scenery, is it? I was standing in a gas station parking lot when I took this picture. And that’s the point. It’s all about the camera angle. This is a big deal in photography, and it is a big deal in storytelling.

Oh, did I mention that as a radio host, YOU are a professional story teller?

As you share stories about your life with your audience, think about the camera angle. What was I trying to capture with the first photo above? What emotion was I trying to illicit from the viewer? I was trying to share a beautiful waterfall scene. So, I had to remove anything in the photo that doesn’t support my goal – I had to zoom in and FOCUS on the core of what I wanted to convey.  

EVERY time you open the mic, ask yourself, “What am I trying to accomplish with this break?” Once you have the answer, remove everything that doesn’t support your goal. And think about your camera angle. You can show them the waterfall without the traffic and power lines.

People will forget what you say. They’ll never forget how you make them feel. Camera angle is the key.

 


Dan Young is Program Director at KGCB in Prescott, AZ... he can reached at dan.young@arizonashine.org

 


 

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