Project Pitch: More than meets the native eye
Guiding quote: “An immigrant can see things which escape the attention of the native.”
Purpose: to show that members of a specific culture cannot always be unbiased when it comes to viewing their own culture like someone from an outside perspective can be.
• What is the purpose of the visual presentation?
The point of a visual presentation is to help viewers gain more insight into the whole topic that is being presented. It is the optimal way to transfer the main idea to other people and facilitate their comprehension. Furthermore, visualization is the best way to make them learn something since it is compelling and fun for the audience.
• What is the hook (how are you going to get people interested)?
The gripping point of the presentation is the monologue from the introduction. The American student uses this monologue to get the audience interested by talking about his perception of the conversation with his Serbian friend. This part will not only show the audience how one cultural difference can change an overall picture of someone, but it will also force them to be mindfully aware of the topic.
• How is it timely/relevant?
It’s highly relevant for better understanding (of both the habits and norms of behavior of your own culture and of the culture of your interlocutor) and thus more successful communication between people coming from different cultural backgrounds.
• What is the storyline (remember to list scene format, e.g. interview, slides, etc.)?
The narrative takes the form of interior monologue, from an American student’s perspective. The narrator recalls how he was worried because his friend rarely smiled, the ensuing conversation with his friend, muses about that cultural phenomenon and reaches some conclusions.
1. The video starts with the interior monologue from the perspective of the American student. He films himself talking about an observation he has made: while talking to his Serbian friend, he noticed how his interlocutor rarely smiled during the conversation and was then worried about the quality of the communication they were having.
2. The second part of the video is an interview. American student talks with his Serbian friend via video call, which he records. He starts off the conversation by stating his impression about his friend rarely smiling during their previous meeting. A Serbian student mentions how he noticed the opposite, that the American student was smiling way too much. They go on discussing this as a cultural phenomenon and discard the worries they had that caused miscommunication.3. The third part includes slides and a voiceover from the American student. The slides include data from research about Americans smiling so often during everyday conversation (for example, https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2017/05/why-americans-smile-so-much/524967/). In the voiceover, the American student discusses the data. 4. The fourth and final part is again interior monologue, just like the one at the beginning of the video. The American student talks about his interaction with the Serbian student and reaches a conclusion that not only did he learn something about Serbian culture as well as his own, but that both he and his Serbian friend managed to overcome a cultural difference that stood in their way.