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A Storyteller's Toolkit from NTEN's 2011 Nonprofit Technology Conference
 

A Storyteller's Toolkit from NTEN's 2011 Nonprofit Technology Conference

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Storytelling was the first technology and has driven technology over the centuries. Here's an approach to using this time-honored practice - the world's true oldest profession - to inform, engage and ...

Storytelling was the first technology and has driven technology over the centuries. Here's an approach to using this time-honored practice - the world's true oldest profession - to inform, engage and motivate your supporters.

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    A Storyteller's Toolkit from NTEN's 2011 Nonprofit Technology Conference A Storyteller's Toolkit from NTEN's 2011 Nonprofit Technology Conference Presentation Transcript

    • A Storyteller’s Toolkit: 5,000 Years in the Making #11NTCStory Nonprofit Technology Network (NTEN) Nonprofit Technology Conference Washington, DC March 18, 2011 Roger Burks, Senior Writer at Mercy Corps @loudmind
    • Introduction Roger Burks Senior Writer Mercy Corps
      • The conveying of events through words, images, sounds, expressions and gestures
      • A way to reach out, connect and share something with others
      • The world’s oldest profession
      What is storytelling?
    • Another important definition Technology is the usage and knowledge of tools, techniques, crafts, systems or methods of organization in order to solve a problem or serve some purpose.
    • What is storytelling? Storytelling = the world’s first technology
    • What is storytelling? Throughout history and humanity, storytelling has evolved and driven invention.
    • The Storyteller’s Toolkit And that’s because, within each one of us, we’ve always had the basic tools we needed to share stories with each other.
    • It’s personal
      • To tell a truly compelling and memorable story, you need a personal:
      • Reason why you write (credo)
      • Connection to the subject
      • Connection to yourself
      • Connection to your audience
    • It’s personal: heart and mind
    • Personal connection to the subject
    • Personal connection to the subject “ The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.” Henry David Thoreau, Walden
    • Personal connection to the subject
      • Preparation
      • Gather the tools that will serve you best in getting the story you need.
      • Do some research on the situation or topic you’re about to cover.
      • Come up with a list of 9-10 questions that will inform – but not limit – your interview.
    • Personal connection to the subject
      • Observation and attention to detail
      • What are the details that capture you? Write them down, right then.
      • Take note of details not just during, but also before and after the interview.
      • Your own thoughts and feelings are important details.
    • Personal connection to the subject
      • Don’t approach it as a job, but as an opportunity
      • This is your chance to meet and learn something about another person.
      • Genuine interest breaks barriers.
      • Your own curiosity makes for good interviews and sustained interactions.
    • Personal connection to the subject Think of it more as a conversation than an interview.
    • Personal connection to the subject
      • Use pen and paper as part of the process
      • “ The act of writing gives physical form to thoughts.”
      • Easier to transcribe subtle details, observations and feelings.
      • A notebook of your interviews and notes is permanent and tangible.
    • Personal connection to the subject
    • Personal connection to yourself
    • Personal connection to yourself “ I’ll know my song well before I start singing.” Bob Dylan
    • Personal connection to yourself
      • You know a good story right away
      • It hits you square in the chest or in the gut.
      • You remember a lot of the story without looking at your notes.
      • You absolutely can’t wait to tell it.
    • Personal connection to yourself
      • Write (somewhat) how you speak
      • Authenticity of voice
      • Conversational quality and tone
      • Ability to develop your own style
      • Feeling for readers that they’re connecting with your cause or organization on a personal level
    • Personal connection to yourself Get it all out there at once – edit and filter later.
    • Personal connection to yourself
    • Personal connection to your audience
    • Personal connection to your audience
      • Show, don’t tell
      • Let the words come from the conversations that you’ve had.
      • Bring the reader along with you; show them what you’ve seen.
      • Don’t be afraid to show the reader how you felt.
      • Bring unmistakable passion and commitment to your stories.
      • Give them familiarity
      • There are a few classic, key elements to most every compelling story:
      • Main character/protagonist
      • Sense of place
      • Emotional connection/empathy
      • Conflict
      • Resolution
      • Like any good story, a good nonprofit piece is an engaging experience for readers.
      Personal connection to your audience
    • Personal connection to your audience
      • Be the stories you tell
      • Establish yourself as a consistent, trustworthy voice for your organization.
      • Be a dependable storyteller and source of stories for your colleagues.
      • Lend your storytelling voice to your cause or organization’s social media efforts.
    • How Mercy Corps is doing it
    • Empowering storytellers throughout the organization Blog launched in May 2009 April 2010 March 2011 436 blog entries 876 blog entries 134 bloggers 225 bloggers 30 countries 41 countries
    • Training staff to be storytellers
    • A variety of stories to capture a variety of experiences From a recent mercycorps.org content inventory: Beneficiary or client story Autobiographical piece Field visit Personal reflection Staff profile/interview Program update News update Emergency update Photo essay Photo with long caption Audio slideshow Video with long caption Rough video Stand-up video Polished short-form video Polished long-form video Video interview Event- or campaign-driven video Written travelogue Technically-focused piece Poem
    • Using stories in social media and fundraising appeals
    • Stories endure and make a difference
    • Thank you! Roger Burks Email: rburks@mercycorps.org Blog: www.mercycorps.org/rogerburks Twitter: @loudmind Download the toolkit: http://bit.ly/storytellerskit