Organization of information
Flip charts, leaflets, slides with taped narrations, filmstrips, motion pictures, radio broadcasts, and telecasts are linear; that is, information presented to the audience follows a sequential order from beginning to end as arranged by the producer.
After the information to be presented has been collected, the first step in organization is to prepare a content outline An outline requires arrangement of the information in a systematic order. It enables a quick check for extraneous material or omissions of essential information, and for the evaluation of the information included against the stated objectives. A sample content outline for the slide-tape about fertilizers is given in Appendix 1, Page 83.
After preparing a content outline, the information needs to be organized in a more detailed fashion which is a treatment. The treatment for a flip chart or a leaflet is a rough sketch of the final layout which shows the location of the visual and verbal elements. This rough sketch serves as a script. The producer proceeds from the treatment to the finished product.
For slide-tapes, filmstrips, motion pictures, and telecasts, the treatment is a narrative account that indicates how the content information is to be arranged and what part of the message will be carried by visual and what part by verbal elements.
What form will the presentation of the content take? Will it be a straightforward explanation? Will it be in a story form? The treatment for the fertilizer slide-tape could be a story about Farmer A and his success in using fertilizer; or the story might contrast Farmer A who uses fertilizer with Farmer B who does not. An example of a treatment for the slide-tape is given in Appendix 1.
The final step in organizing information for slide-tapes, filmstrips, etc. is the preparation of a script. Scripts are usually in two columns - one column a verbal description of the scene, the other the accompanying narration. When a sketch of the verbal scene description is added, the script may be referred to as a storyboard-script. A script or storyboard-script serves as a blueprint for the photographer or artist. A portion of a storyboard-script is given in Appendix 1.
In summary, planning is an interrelated step-by-step process.
Statement of objectives. WHAT is to be accomplished as related to identified audience needs. The objectives should be stated to indicate what audience need is to be fulfilled.
Presentation strategy. HOW objectives will be accomplished. The How should take into account audience characteristics and available media resources.
Selection of information - CONTENT of each presentation. What is selected must be based on the stated objectives and checked against them.
Organization of Information - SEQUENCE of the content from a simple outline to the detailed script. This is the last step before production. Like previous steps, the script should be checked against the stated objectives.
The material in Appendix 1 shows the application of the four steps relative to the slide-tape about fertilizers.
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