Smart, well-delivered and timely advice to help advocates and spokespeople tell the most effective stories.
Stories seem to be what consumers crave, particularly if they are heartfelt and authentic; storytelling is responsible for hit reality-television shows, wildly popular brands and carefully packaged politicians, among other things. But stories can also be useful for nonprofit organizations when ordinary people with extraordinary stories are employed as leading advocates for the cause. As authentic as an advocate’s story may be, however, it can always be improved in style and delivery; that’s the mission of this exceptional instructional guide. The authors carefully lead storytellers through examples and exercises to show how to make content more compelling and relevant to the audiences speakers are trying to influence. The authors present many engaging techniques, such as asking advocates to describe their mission in just six words and demonstrating how to create a visual “story map” to document one’s experience. Capecci and Cage convey “the five qualities of effective advocacy stories,” discuss how to develop key messages, and explain how to craft a story and deliver powerful presentations. They also offer advice for how to ace media interviews; the helpful tips and prep sheets they include will make any reader feel more confident in front of a reporter. The book is divided into easy-to-digest chapters, replete with numerous sidebars, graphics and charts. The convenient format makes it possible for readers to move quickly from start to finish or to pick out chapters that target areas of particular interest. All the while, Capecci and Cage weave into the text actual stories told by advocates, so readers gain a full appreciation for the power of storytelling.
Highly readable, this engaging manual never veers from its focus of providing the basic skills one needs to tell a story that can truly make a difference.