Tuesday, 23 November 2010

If a picture paints a thousand words...

As the song lyrics go 'if a picture paints a thousand words, then why can't I paint you..' Lovely as the sentiment is, have you ever tried to describe a picture or visual content in such a way? It poses an interesting and actually quite useful challenge.

The technique of Audio Description does just that. It is used as a way of capturing the visual elements of a production for blind or visually impaired people. It is quite a skill(as is it a valuable service) and the essence of which, I think as fundraisers we could all learn from.

So, why not challenge yourself? Have a look at some footage on your website or even take a look at a photograph that you may plan to include in a feedback piece and see whether you can describe the scene in a meaningful, motivating and descriptive way for your own audience. Verbally or even in writing.

It is not as easy as it sounds - but being able to do it could not only improve your own story telling and communications but also your understanding of what are the most meaningful elements of them for your supporters.

It is definitely worth a go!


  1. nice idea - will give it a try - i used to write my appeals via a picture but strangley I see that professional copy writers do it the other way and images are added after copy is written!

  2. Good pictures do speak for themselves and probably don't need further description - but having had a go at the audio visual technique myself it is quite difficult.
    I guess it is the difference between just describing a wood as full of trees versus 'a batallion of trees waiting to go into battle to protect its secrets..' creating atmosphere and drama.

    Hope all good with you and thank you as ever for popping by and taking the time to comment.