Become a Storytelling Wizard!

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BYU Nursing students, Brent Kamba and Brooke Stacey, accompany Neonatal Rescue group to Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, and surrounding areas in Cambodia to participate in focus groups and help with training on neonatal ventilators in hospitals through the Ballard Center at Brigham Young University.

October 15, 2022

Photography by Nate Edwards/BYU

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By Thomas Rex

As we prepare for our careers in public relations, we sometimes face job interviews where we need to tell a compelling story of ourselves and submit it to the hiring manager. Other times, we are hired and need to create videos on various platforms such as Instagram and YouTube. We may wonder how to make our stories compelling on a video platform.

I sat down with Adam Sanders, BYU’s Director/Editor at University Communications. He shared with me a three-step process to becoming a video storytelling wizard. The first step involves non-traditional PR experiences, the second is about becoming the person who can tell compelling stories, and the third step is to practice more than you think is necessary.


Non-traditional PR Experiences

As a student in college, Adam had great mentors who encouraged him to create his own experiences to develop his skills as a storyteller. He took this counsel to heart and created an out-of-the-ordinary experience for his senior capstone project. He reached out to a band he loved and arranged to go on tour with them across the country. He experienced the band’s environment and culture. He learned to tell a great story by experiencing the story. This experience allowed Adam to create an intriguing documentary for his senior capstone project that helped viewers live the experience with him. This is where Adam’s career really began. “Try to create an experience that fits you,” Adam says. “If you follow that, things work out.” This project opened the doors for Adam into his first video production job.


Become The Storyteller

Great storytellers work well with a team, they unify the group in creating a compelling story. Often when deadlines are approaching, there will be a lot of pressure to create high-quality content quickly. Adam shared that while these times are stressful, they can also be times of great creativity if you allow them to be. Adam says that “What usually helps with that is the team.” He describes two fundamentals of creating a great team: “Try to look for the positive [and] be the person people want to work with.” When you focus on the positive and become someone people enjoy working with, your team will be more unified. When you become a unified team, you will find much greater success in creating a compelling story.


Practice More Than You Think

You may think you have practiced your skills enough; however, there is always a need to sharpen your tools if you want to create the best video stories. Adam says: “Just do it, get your hands on some equipment, or write a story. Just create, create, create.” There are so many resources available to students. You can check out equipment at the communications college, go to the library’s software training lab, and take classes such as Comms 350 and Comms 491R that help you develop these skills. Be proactive and you will become much better than you anticipated becoming.


As Adam learned to design his college experience, all of us can. I am confident that we can tell compelling stories through video by creating our own meaningful experiences, becoming the coworkers everyone wants to work with, and getting our hands dirty in some practice. Doing these things will launch our creativity and we will become storytelling wizards!



  • Comms 350 is a class where students will learn to do video storytelling.
  • Comms 491R is a class students can take at any time in the program to make video stories about the PR industry that can be published on the PR Intelligence Lab website.