Last year, I wrote a post about the importance – and joy – of story telling. We all know the power of stories, so why don’t we incorporate more of them into our communications? Here are some further thoughts and a great resource for you.
The talk, which was sponsored by the Silicon Valley Chapter of AFP, was given by Andy Goodman, a nationally recognized consultant who conducts popular workshops about storytelling and other topics in public interest communications.
Andy began by showing us some PowerPoint presentations from nonprofits. They were real showstoppers. In a bad way. They could put you to sleep in a matter of minutes. They were written by dedicated, smart people who thought their mission statement and research data told their story. But it didn’t.
And should always be our focus: how lives are changed by the work of the organization. Stories provide the context for data (not the other way ’round). And, according to Andy, nonprofits always have a lot of them to choose from.
Andy’s list of story types provides a great framework for nonprofit communications.
Think of all the opportunities to use stories like these! They could – and should – be woven into everything we do, even a PowerPoint presentation.
And as this quote implies, they impart the meaning of our work more clearly than a collection of data.
“Storytelling reveals meaning without committing the error of defining it.” (H. Arendt)