August 2012 Meeting Notes

On August 24th, we welcomed the following new members:

John Cone, BASCA;
Robin Cowing, Quigley House;
Jackie Kujala, Guardian ad Litem;
Brian McInnis, Grace Episcopal Day School;
Lisa Twing, Mind Your Meds;
Stephanie Van Dyke, Grace Episcopal Day School.

Afterwards, twenty-two of us listened to internationally known speaker, Linda Davis O’Connell, talk about the power of stories as a means to engage and inspire our audiences. We learned that stories help our stakeholders feel and remember something our organization, and we discovered how to build compelling stories.   

Minutes Shaping Clay 8.24.12

Beth Eiffert, ThrasherHorneCenter for the Performing Arts
Christy Fitzgerald, The Way Free Medical Clinic
Lisa Leiby, Clay County Literacy Coalition
Bobby Nagle – CJ Acres Animal Farm
Catrine Fredrikson – Rotary/concert on the green/boy scouts
Andre Van Heerden – Mercy Network
Juliette Van Heerden – Mercy Network
John Cone – Basca
Catrine Frederickson –FlemingIsland Rotary
Paul Frendahl – JDD ministries
Linda Scaz – Haven Hospice
Vickie Basber – Family Support Services
Stephanie Vandyke- Grace Episcopal Day School
Brian McKinnis – Grace Episcopal Day School
Robin Cowing- Quigley House
Jackie Kujala – Guardian ad Litem
Lori Butler – Art Enrichment Program of ClayCounty
Jennifer Connell – The Self Movement
Amy Parker – Reinhold Foundation
Kim Govan – Nonprofit CtrNE FL
Jerel Williams – St Johns housing partnership
Lisa Thwing – Mind your meds


Beth opened the meeting welcoming all members.

Please remember to pay $5 for the meeting

Remember to RSVP at  for the meeting.  We want to be able to configure the room to accommodate all members at the meeting.

The basket was passed for business cards, to select our member spot light for the September meeting.  Lisa Thwing will be our member spotlight speaker.


Linda O’Connell presented about Storytelling as a means to engage and inspire your audience. View and download presentation and worksheet.

Data can be dry and boring, and does not always tell the whole story.  Use data WITH stories for a more interesting, complete picture.

Storytelling is a great marketing tool to Inspire, Convince and Compel your audience.  Stories show the value of the essential work that you do every day. 

Use a story so that your audience sees the inspirational things that happen in your day to day operations, and to make your stakeholders feel something about what you are doing.

They may not remember the details, but they will remember how that story makes them feel, and it will convince them the value of what you do.

Why Stories

Time is right, people are talking about stories and it is becoming popular. Storytelling can be a game changer professionally.

Stories capture intangibles that your data cannot show.

Stories are remembered, not always the details, but how you felt after you heard the story.

Stories are powerful and quick.

Example:  next time you meet someone when they ask how are you doing, “It’s going great!  Let me tell you something that happened …”  Use the story as an opportunity to influence someone.

Advantages of Stories

Stories engage many parts of the brain, they become multi- sensory

Stories can be the glue or connective tissue, connects all the issues together to help your audience remember what you are saying.

Stories are much more entertaining than data.

Stories make a deeper richer connection and make more of an emotional impact

Stories are heard, people pay attention.

Stories inspire action, get people to do things that you want them to do

When developing a story you need to think strategically and need to plan them and target your audience.

Story Strategy

Clarify your desired results, what you are looking for, what is your objective.

Identify audience drivers, personal driver (I don’t’ want to look like a stick in the mud) professional driver (I want to make a decision that will promote me) 

Everyone has their personal agendas align your message to get the people to hear you and manipulate them into seeing what the needs if your clients are.

Appeal to pleasure/pain –

Gather credible evidence and use anecdotal evidence; what people tell you about the service you provide and how it is making a difference in their lives. Assume people believe you and that you are telling the truth.  Observe what is going on in your organization and document that. Come back and tell that story.


Open and close with impact.  Use compelling and provacative statements. Close with impact. Make sure you have extreme clarity about what you want them to do when you have finished the story

Paint a vivid picture, make the emotional connection, and give detail.  Create a picture; help them understand a variety of feelings about what is going on in your organization.

Clear problem/clear solution “we have people we have to turn away, solution need to add more staff”

Shows value linked to our business goals.

Include credible evidence, this is when you tell about an individual with needs build your case

Deliver Great Stories

Practice your story

Do not be overly dramatic don’t allow the sappy ness distract, business like but powerful

Protect conferences

Do not offend

Be succinct Tight, quick do not be verbose

Write a story about something that you have accomplished.

Don’t play small, start talking about the great things you are doing in your non profit

Suggested Readings

“Storytelling in Organizations”, John Seely brown, Stephen denning, datalina groh, Laurence prusak

“Wake me up when the data is over” Lori Silverman

Tell to win Peter Gruber

Everyone should know your stories in your organization; the influence can really happen at lower levels in the organization.  Bring it down to your volunteers; use it at a grassroots level.

Stories can be icebreakers. 


The Self Movement is planning a Blue Jeans and Black Tie Chili Cook-off on September 20th at 6:30 pm to support teenage drivers’ education and safety.

Clay County Literacy desperately needs volunteer tutors!  Training takes place September 15, so if you know of anyone seeking a very meaningful pursuit, please send them to Lisa Leiby.

CJ Acres Animal Rescue will host “Manure Madness” in November, which will entail gridding off a pasture and auctioning squares. If the horses grace your square with the most deposits, you could win up to $1000!