Show rather than tell to motivate supporters to care, then act.
Karen Dietz's insight:
Hey, this is a quick article with a very powerful point -- a before and after make-over of a marketing piece. The 'before' promo was not a story. The 'after' promo is a story. And wow - can you experience the difference!
If you need a good example of what not to do, and then what to do, this is it.
At the end of thea article are even more resources for you for telling your biz stories. They are all written for non-profits, but you will benefit just the same.
Wonderful and highly inspirational video. Reminds us all to strive for authentic and purposful communication. So chose your words wisely. They are extremely powerful.
Karen Dietz's insight:
I love this story shown in this video and tell it all the time in my biz story workshops and MBA classes. The story is particularly instructive for nonprofits. It is a terrific way to teach the power of a story -- along with what makes it work and why. I simply call it "The Poet's Story".
I never show the video however. I always tell it orally so we can also debrief the power of the oral and face-to-face storyteling experience.
There are several digital versions out there, and I think this is the best one.
Back Story to This Video
Now here is something about this story I bet you did not know:
It is based on a true story. This video version is set in Spain. The original story is from Paris in the 1950s and is told by the poet Jacques Prevért about an experience he had.
I originally heard the story from storyteller and fellow Folklorist Sunwolf, Ph.D., J.D., Associate Professor, at the Dept. of Communication & Visiting Professor, at the School of at Law Santa Clara University. Prevért told her the story and gave Sunwolf permission to use it. I asked Sunwolf for her permission to tell it a few years ago, which she graciously granted (gaining permissions for a story is important, as is keeping track of where it came from).
I think we owe a lot to both Sunwolf @WordWhispers and Prevért. Many thanks to both for allowing this story life and the opportunity to do its work in the world.
And thank you also to Kenneth Mikkelsen for suggesting I curate this!
Thanks Kim Zinke for finding and scooping this article her to curation "How to find and tell your story".
I really like how practical and common-sense this post is. And yes, it does help to de-mystify org storytelling.
The steps are really good. There iare two more I would add:
Before launching into storytelling in your nonprofit or business, educate yourself about what storytelling is and is not. There are tons of resources here on the Just Story It curation site to get you started. Once you know more about business storytelling, then go for it!
Make sure you know how to evoke stories from others so you really get stories, not just opinions and information. Search 'evoking stories' using the Filter tab above.
Time to get busy finding and sharing your stories!
"The emotionally charged story recounted at the beginning Dr. Paul Zak's film—of a terminally ill two-year-old named Ben and his father—offers a simple yet remarkable case study in how the human brain responds to effective storytelling."
Want to know how a dramatic story structure affects our brain chemistry and leads us to make donations? Then watch this very engaging and informative 5 minute video!
The video explains several neuroscience research projects that were conducted (don't worry - the video is NOT boring) about the effects a short dramatic story had on people's brains and behavior.
And it explains how to structure a story to make the biggest impact. I wish all scientist could do such a great job in explaining their work and its meaning. Enjoy!
When people have been traumatized, they’re often reluctant to talk to the media. There are ways of getting them to open up, though, and of showing them the value in sharing their story.
I talked with five journalists who have interviewed sexual assault victims, people with mental illnesses and parents who have lost children. Here are 10 tips from them.
If you are a non-profit who works with people facing tough challenges or who have been traumatized in some way, yet you want to share their stories, then these 10 tips from journalists you may find helpful.
But those of us who have been around storytelling as a dynamic meaning-making process know that these 10 tips do not deal with the real issues involved here.
For example, people's ability to share their story about a difficult issue evolves over time. At first they may only be able to tell you a tiny piece of the story. Or share a piece of 'black humor' about what happened. Eventually they may be able to tell more of the story, depending on their own healing process. So if you use these tips and expect to get the whole enchilada, be respectful and adjust your expectations. Don't push. You may do more damage than good.
And who they share their story with depends on the level of trust and intimacy they share with a person. Personal stories -- particularly stories of trauma -- can be characterized as stories you share with strangers on the front porch, stories you share in the living room when some trust has developed, and back-room stories that you feel comfortable sharing with your most intimate friends or partners.
Expecting someone to share a back-room story with you when you are a stranger to them means you are totally clueless. The result could be resistence or even more trauma.
So what is a non-profit to do?
Well, take these 10 tips in hand, but bring your understanding about people's ability to share their story to your work. And then work with the front porch to back-room story types so you know better what kinds of stories to ask for and when.
You’d think that a problem makes for an interesting story. But when it comes to telling the story of game-changing innovation, the “problem/solution” model is broken. This is why so many brands and causes have a hard time telling their story. When it comes to business, you want to introduce a paradox, not just a problem.
What a great post from colleage Michael Margolis on how to re-think the problem/resolution elements of a story into presenting the possbility & then the obstacle being faced.
This is an especially important insight for nonprofits to get because the problem/resolution set up starts out with a negative -- which can be a turn-off for people. As Michale says, we are surrounded by enough problems these days.
So turn the problem/resolution dyamic on its head and shift to presenting the possibility/obstacle dynamic instead. That way you are leading with a positive, and then presenting the obstacle to overcome. Obviously then people's participation in the cause/business will help the obstacle be overcome. Or part of the obstacle has already been overcome with people's help.
Now, I would suggest doing the same for any business -- present the possibility and the obstacle, and then the resolution or call to action.
I be you'll feel better setting up your story this way, and so will your audience. Let me know how it goes!
Story Wheel - Tell the story behind your pictures...
Very cool app!
I watched a bunch hoping I'd find something that was an actual story.
Nope. Couldn't find any. Just blah blah blah. Dry as sandpaper.Please please please don't do the same.
I would LOVE it if someone used this to actually share a story -- especially in the business or non-profit world. Or if scrolling through the ones on the site you actually find one -- then tell me, tell me!
Use this wonderful app to share one of your well-crafted business stories. I think it will be clever and amazing!
But do scroll through the various pieces people have shared and find the one titled THECLEVERSHEE -- it will tell you how to use the app.
Then, if you REALLY want a terrific example of how biz storytelling can be done -- whether in business or personally -- read the post on this page titled "The Secret To Making Your Story Standout Online." http://www.youngprepro.com/storytelling/
So what’s the flipside of our inertia in the face of large numbers?
We don’t want to take action unless we see large numbers of others doing so!
Take canned laughter. Can you think of any...
Needing to raise funds for your business or non-profit? Then take the point of this article to heart: make sure your other donors play a role in your story!
Ingenious. But so true. And so overlooked. This article explains all about social proof and how stories about donors/funderscontributing to your cause or business is critical to build more donor momentum and bring cash in the door.
A sparrow knocked over 23,000 dominoes, spoilt a world record attempt, and was shot dead. Public outrage was swift; a tribute website immediately attracted more than 24,000 hits!
For any business or nonprofit that needs to raisemoney, sell a cause, or enroll people in its mission, then this article clearly demonstrates why & how to focus on the people involved FIRST, not the numbers.
I love the points the author makes about giving not being rational, and that we are people not numbers. We don't relate to numbers that well in presentations, but we sure do relate to people.
I love this quick SlideShare program about what makes presentations rock that really packs a punch.
All my smart, capable MBA students struggle with creating compelling persuasive presentations. All of my senior executives struggle with the same.
So what would Steve Jobs do? How do you create a compelling presentation that brings results?
As this SlideShare shows us, it is all about distilling your presentation down to its core essence -- and then sharing it as a story, with stories, and with strong visuals. But there is much more to this program than that message -- so take a few minutes to flip through it and dig into its contents. You will be glad you did.
Wake up people's brains! Follow the rules given here. They work.
Yet if we know what to do, why don't we do it? Because it takes time, as this program says.
But think of it this way: can you affort NOT to invest the time when money and business and your reputation is on the table? Nope.
An excellent article in the February issue of Sojourners magazine discusses “leadership storytelling” – or public narrative – as a vehicle for social change. The author of the article, Eboo Patel, founder of the Interfaith Youth ...
Karen Dietz's insight:
I love this article because it points to 3 specific stories that need to be shared in order for social change to happen.
If you are a business or nonprofit focused on making a difference in the world and advocating for social change, these 3 stories are critical to craft and tell.
As the author Cynthia Starks says, the stories need to be:
The story of Self -- why YOU are passionate about this cause. This is the story that most people/organizations ignore. But if people don't know who you are and why you are involved, minimal trust and influence will be built.
The story of Us -- which is a story of inclusiveness. In crafting social change stories, people want to come together in community.
The story of Now -- which is a story that builds urgency and galvanizes action.
This is a quick article with more insights than I shared. So go read it :)
Brady Josephson: Fibers of Storytelling (and Not Sucking)Huffington Post (blog)Mitch Joel calls this doing justice to your brand narrative. Scott Stratten says this is being awesome, not unawesome.
Karen Dietz's insight:
What kind of a foundation does your business (for profit or nonprofit) need in order for your storytelling to really work?
According to this article, it's 4 things: like doing great work and proving it. And demonstrating a love of customers/donors/supporters.
Makes sense to me. What the article is saying is that businesses have to be able to walk their talk. Alignment between the stories they tell and how the business actually operates is critical for believability and authenticity.
So before you get on the storytelling bandwagon, make sure you are really ready to start the process by doing an internal check first.
Using digital technology to tell stories can help charities with impact assessment, says Kieron Kirkland...
Using stories to evaluate results? Quantitatively??!! You bet!!
Here is a fabulous article after my quantitative heart.
The author Kieron Kirkland talks about how the organization, Nominet Trust, worked with the org story company Cognitive Edge to capture stories and then have the story authors rank what their stories are about on a scale.
Once the story was captured, there were several types of scales the storytellers ranked their stories on -- generating big data!
See -- storytelling and evaluation can be done effectively if constructed properly.
This article goes hand-in-hand with newer qualitative evaluation processes for arts-based techniques (like storytelling) talked about in one of my favorite books, Method Meets Art; Arts-Based Research Practice by Patricia Leavy (2009).
If you struggle to connect stories about your projects to quantifiable results, then run to read this article.
Having helped organizations articulate measures so they can see progress, the first critical area to tackle are which measures are going to be used that are the most meaningful, given the project's objectives.
This article will give you several ideas for how to get started.
The best way for a leader to persuade people to accept a counterintuitive health message is to craft a compelling narrative.
What a great story and insights this article contains. With lessons for us all in leadership, marketing, and social change.
Here is Kenneth Lin, a leader in public health, who shares his story of resigning his position because of clashing narratives. And his frustration with the truth narrative losing out. But he doesn't give up. He keeps going, and shares his insights about grand narratives, leadership, and perseverence with us.
For example -- are you telling micro or macro narratives? If you are telling micro narratives and expecting social change, it won't happen.
And how do you share a narrative that counters people's beliefswhen those beliefs contain inaccurate assumptions? Every leader and social change agent wants to know the answer to that one.
Lin might not solve all of these problems in this blog post, but his insights about leadership, stories, and social change are worth the read and give us hope when meeting roadblocks.
About half our donors are leaving. According to Third Sector’s latest survey half the fundraisers are close behind them. It seems the only ones staying are the beneficiaries and God knows they’d leave if they could!
Now here's an interesting article -- all about when storytelling fails.
There is little talk about how/why storytelling fails in marketing, so I appreciate this post because it starts bringing our attention to this important topic.
This article was written for non-profits but it applies to for-profit businesses also.
As the author points out, one reason stories fail when you use them is when audiences perceive your stories as hype or a new kind of sales pitch.
How does that happen? It happens when YOU don't have an emotional link to the stories. They come across as inauthentic then.
As Charlie Hume, the author says at the end of this blog post, "What’s my real goal – a bonus if I hit this quarter’s target, or a world without poverty, an end to exploitation, a cure? Am I passionately committed to making this happen or am I making a living out of people dying?"
Ouch! But good points.
Read this article for more points about why some stories don't work. Then make sure when you create and share your stories that you are as personally inspired by them as you hope your audience is. That's the secret to success!
What’s your story? Finding and telling an organization’s most compelling stories is always my first step in the consulting process.
Here are 8 great storytelling tips for any nonprofit or for profit business. It's all about how to find your stories.
There are plenty of articles on how to tell a really engaging story that moves people to action. But where do you get those stories from?
Follow these tips and you will soon have a wealth of stories to choose from! I particularly like tip #6 -- Listen. Yes! So often this is left out of the equation. We are so busy thinking about the questions to ask and how to respond that we forget that the magic in evoking stories is simply to listen delightedly -- not critically.
And then tip #8 -- don't polish your stories too much. Well, keep them authentic but do clean them up a bit. There is no excuse not to have a well-crafted story. Not everyone on video is a good storyteller. And turning a recorded story into a well-written story takes crafting. My advice? Craft an awesome story while keeping it authentic --you want the person telling the story to be shown in the best light possible!
Michael Hoffman and Danny Alpert offered these tips on how to make your visual story work — and I’ll second all of these recommendations, since I know a little about video production.
Here's a very well-written article with 10 terrific tips for creating a video for your business. While it is geared toward non-profits, this advice is applicable to ANY organization using video to share its stories.
This is not a technical how-to. It is all about the majority of the work that needs to happen before you ever pick up a camera. And this strategic thinking about the story you want to tell is the work that most often gets neglected when putting together a video.
So follow the tips here and you will have great success in sharing your stories.
Take a cue from Shakespeare to write compelling stories for your nonprofit.
Or any business! Here's what I like about this article: it walks us through the process of how to start thinking in story language in order to be able to find and tell your biz stories.
The author goes through two business situations and reframes them for us so we can tease out -- and tell -- the story that is embedded within. By showing us these reframes we can getideas of our own. That's lovely.
So as you are working in your business or nonprofit, continue to ask yourself "How can I take this experience/situation/project and 'storify' it or turn it into a story?