In August, Shaping Clay had the good fortune to welcome internationally known speaker, Linda Davis O’Connell, owner of Learnologie (www.learnologie.com) to talk to us about “Storytelling to Win!”
The response to this powerful topic was so energizing, we are going to continue the conversation at the September 28th meeting. Don’t worry if you missed the August meeting because you can download Linda’s presentation in which she shared with us how to craft stories that are credible, succinct and emotionally powerful. These stories will enhance your data, engage your listeners, illustrate value and long be remembered.
In addition to her presentation, we provide here the presentation learning points and the easy to follow Story Building Activity worksheet so you can easily catch up and join the conversation in September. Please review the compelling material and prepare your story ahead of time so we can learn and grow from each other.
Key learnings Linda shared include:
- Show the value of the essential work that you do everyday. Help people see the value of what you do, see the inspirational things that happen in your day- to- day operations.
- Make your stakeholders feel something about what you are doing. They may not remember the details of the story but they will remember how the story makes them feel; it convinces them the value of what you do.
- The time is right, business people are talking about stories, becoming popular
- Storytelling can be a professional game changer.
- They capture intangibles that your data cannot show.
- Stories are remembered, especially for how they make people feel.
- Stories are powerful and quick: In the elevator you can respond to the question, “How are you?’ with “I am great, let me tell you something great at my agency yesterday….” you use it as an opportunity to influence someone!
ADVANTAGES OF STORIES
- Stories engage many parts of the brain; they are multi- sensory.
- The are much more entertaining than data.
- They provide a deeper richer connection that makes more of an emotional impact.
- People pay attention to stories.
- Stories inspire action, get people to do things that you want them to do.
- Clarify desired results. What is your objective?
- Identify your audience’s personal drivers (I don’t’ want to look like a stick in the mud, non-supportive) and professional driver (I want to make a decision that will promote me and my organization’s mission). Everyone has their personal agendas so tailor your message to get the people to hear what they need to help you get what you desire from them (funding, connections, resources, etc)
- Appeal to the pleasure/pain principle.
- Gather credible evidence using anecdotal evidence, what people tell you, how your service 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 and come back and tell that story.
COMPONENTS OF A STORY
- Open and close with impact compelling proactive statement close with impact extreme clarity about what you want them to do.
- Paint a vivid picture, make the emotional connection, give details, to create picture help them understand a variety of feelings what is going on in your organization.
- Clear problem/clear solution –Problem: we have to turn people away/ Solution: we need to add more staff.
- Show value linked to your business goals.
- Include credible evidence whereby you tell about an individual with needs you can or have fulfilled– build your case.
- Deliver Great Stories.
- Practice your story.
- Do not be overly dramatic don’t allow the sappiness be a distraction. Keep it business- like but powerful.
- Do not offend—be mindful of cultural, gender, religious value differences.
- Be succinct, quick, and not too 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!
Now it’s your turn…use the strategic “Storytelling to Win” worksheet to craft your story and be ready to share it and give feedback to your fellow Shaping Clay members on September 28th.
Download Story Building Worksheet here (copy is also posted below)
Storytelling to WIN! Assignment:
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Tell Your Story in Two Minutes
Open with impact
Describe the problem in mentally vivid and emotionally stimulating ways
Describe the solution using credible evidence
Describe the impact to your business/organization’s goals
Close with impact and call to action
Tell Your Story in Three Sentences
Tell your Story in One Sentence