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The Power of Storytelling | Lisa Horvat, Strategic Storytellers Inc.
 

The Power of Storytelling | Lisa Horvat, Strategic Storytellers Inc.

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Since the dawn of time, humans have been using stories to connect. Storytelling is what binds us together as a species; it is what links us in our communities. Today, we unwittingly use storytelling ...

Since the dawn of time, humans have been using stories to connect. Storytelling is what binds us together as a species; it is what links us in our communities. Today, we unwittingly use storytelling every day in our social interactions. But, we often leave this powerful tool at the door when we enter our professional environments or when we do use stories we often don’t maximize their potential.
As non-profits, we frequently fall back on facts and figures, hoping that they will tell our story. And they do tell part of the story but they usually don’t strike the emotional chord that a simple story can. It is the emotive power of storytelling that we want to harness. We want to use story to allow our supporters to see themselves in our story and to allow them to join in a shared story. No matter what we do for a living, we all want to accomplish something bigger than ourselves, to leave our mark. Use storytelling to open the door for your prospects to do just that. In this presentation we’ll talk about the power of storytelling, how we can find our stories and express them through video, visuals, data and our writing so we can effectively use story in all our online communication channels.

Takeaways
• Why storytelling is so powerful
• How to use video to tell your non-profit story
• How to use social media to keep your story alive

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    The Power of Storytelling | Lisa Horvat, Strategic Storytellers Inc. The Power of Storytelling | Lisa Horvat, Strategic Storytellers Inc. Document Transcript

    • A  bit  about  how  I  got  here  today  -­‐  Back  in  2005,  I  was  working  at  a  small  interac=ve  agency,  changing  the  online   space  with  big  clients  like  Toyota  &  DaimlerChrysler.  But  then  I  got  a  new  client,   WWF-­‐Canada.     1  
    • -­‐  Being  kind  of  green  since  highschool,  having  World  Wildlife  Fund  as  a  client  proved   to  be  really  meaningful.  Because  our  work  now  had  the  poten=al  of  affec=ng  more   than  just  the  online  world.    -­‐  So  I  caught  that  ‘meaningful’  bug  and  needed  to  devote  myself  full-­‐=me  to   something  I  was  really  passionate  about.  -­‐  I  moved  to  WWF  and  spent  6  years  leading  their  online  communica=ons  and  mkt.   And,  this  is  a  photo  I  took  on  my  6th  year  in  a  row  geOng  up  at  2am  to  par=cipate   in  our  biggest  fundraiser  of  the  year  at  the  CN  Tower.  As  we  use  to  say  at  WWF,   mostly  sarcas=cally,  but  with  a  hint  of  seriousness,  “Just  another  day  geOng  up  to   save  the  planet”.  Minus  those  early  morning  wakeups,  I  had  found  my  dream  job.    -­‐  It  was  my  dream  job  because  now  I  was  interac=ng  with  people  everyday,  either   internally,  externally,  online,  who  were  making  steps  towards  ‘saving  the  world”.   But  yet,  aVer  6  years  I  leV  that  dream  job.    -­‐  Almost  a  year  ago,  I  leV  WWF.  Because  although  storytelling  will  never  save  the   world.  Nothing  in  this  world  has  every  changed  without  a  new  story.  So,  if  I   wanted  to  make  a  bigger  impact,  I  felt  I  had  to  start  dedica=ng  myself  to  that  –   changing  the  world’s  stories.    -­‐  I’m  now  working  with  a  lot  of  corporates  and  non-­‐profits  again,  learning  how   stories  are  empowering  them  to  reach  their  goals.  That  is  why  being  here  today   and  geOng  to  talk  to  so  many  of  you  in  the  non-­‐profit  space  at  once,  not  just  one   client  at  a  =me,  is  really  meaningful  to  me.     2  
    • My  goal  is  to  help  you  get  started  with  using  great  stories  to  change  what  is  important  in  your  world.    We  will  cover:  Why  use  storytelling  ,  what  is  its  power  How  to  find  your  great  stories  How  to  keep  your  stories  alive  and  growing  to  con=nue  to  meet  your  goals   3  
    • Let’s  look  at  how  people  make  decisions.    What  gets  them  to  change  behaviour?  What  are  their  intrinsic  mo=va=ons  to  give?  You’ve  heard  them  before:  1.  It  makes  us  happy  2.  Because  others  are  giving  3.  Makes  us  feel  important  4.  We  want  to  be  part  of  a  success  story,  accomplish  something  bigger  than   ourselves,  leave  our  mark  And,  you  can  use  story  to  open  the  door  for  your  prospects  to  do  just  that.    But  here  is  another  way  to  think  about  all  of  this  –  How  do  people  REALLY  make  the  decision  to  donate  to  you?  Of  course  decisions  are  made  with  our  brains.  Our  brain  is  made  up  of  2  independent  systems  –  emo=onal  side  (pain/pleasure),  ra=onal  side  (deliberately  plans  ahead).   4  
    • This  picture  illustrates  these  two  halves.  The  elephant  is  in  the  moment,  our  emo=onal,  ins=nc=ve  side.  The  rider  on  its  back  is  our  ra=onal  side  –  he  seems  to  be  in  control,  he  has  the  reigns.  But,  if  these  two  ever  disagree,  if  there  is  a  contest  of  wills,  we  know  who  is  going  to  win  the  tug  of  war  (150lb  man  or  the  5  ton  elephant?).      So,  in  non-­‐profit  outreach,    we  want  to  first  mo=vate  the  elephant,  connect  with  people’s  emo=onal  side  –  that’s  who  decides  if  we  donate,  if  we  have  that  2nd  piece  of  cake,  and  then  aVer  that  emo=onal  decision  is  made,  and  only  then,  do  our  ra=onal  selves  kick  in  –  I  did  run  that  extra  100  meters  today  so  I’ve  already  worked  off  the  2nd  piece  of  cake,  etc.      So  to  really  connect  and  drive  ac)on,  you  want  to  lead  with  emo=on  and  then  back  it  up  with  the  info  to  make  it  easy  for  the  rider  to  go  along  with  what  our  emo=ons  want.    So,  if  we  need  to  connect  with  the  emo=ons  first  –  why  use  storytelling?  Of  course,  great  stories  are  all  about  emo=on…     5  
    • Think  of  a  brand  like  Nike.  They  actually  don’t  sell  sports  gear.  They’re  selling  you  an  emo=onal  story:  a  story  of  our  hard  work,  sweat  and  perseverance.      Just  Do  It  –isn’t  about  NIKE,  it’s  about  your  personal  quest  for  excellence  and  fulfillment  (and  that’s  what  we  need  to  remember    when  we  do  our  own  storytelling,  we  don’t  want  to  tell  a  story  about  our  organiza=on,  we  want  to  tell  a  story  about  our  audience)    The  Nike  story  bonds  consumers  to  the  brand  in  a  way  that  escapes  compe=tors  like  Adidas  and  New  Balance  –  who  don’t  have  a  story  that  binds.    So  stories  are  vehicles  to  carry  emo=on,  inspire  us,…but  they  also  do  many  more  things…   6  
    • Memorable  You  can  spend  hours  telling  a  prospect  all  about  the  reasons  and  benefits  to  donate  to  your  charity.    One  day  later  they  will  have  forgojen  95%.  Just  like  you  will  forget  most  of  this  presenta=on…  but  when  you  think  about  it  tomorrow  you  will  probably  remember  some  of  the  stories.    We  live  in  a  sea  of  informa=on,  a  sea  of  op=ons,  so  we  need  to  find  ways  to  make  our  ideas  s=ck.    Use  story  to  flip  a  switch  in  your  audience’s  mind,  that  allows  them  to  actually  feel/visualize  the  experience  of  your  brand  and  your  work.  If  you  want  to  get  in  our  audience’s  mind  –  plant  a  story  there  –  they  ‘save’  nicely  in  the  human  brain  and  have  a  way  of  growing  and  replaying  in  our  minds  long  aVer  the  storyteller  is  gone  –  giving  them  a  las=ng,  memorable  impact.     7  
    • Stories  Show  -­‐  Which  is  bejer  than  just  telling.      Communica=ng  in  stories  brings  the  value  of  something  to  life,  gives  it  meaning,  connects  with  the  audience,  good  stories  transport  them  so  they  see  themselves  in  the  story.  Un=l  they  can  ‘see’  it,  you’ll  have  to  spend  a  lot  more  =me  convincing,  reminding  and  reitera=ng  people  before  they  take  ac=on.    Like  the  ghosts  in  Charles  Dickens’  a  Christmas  Carol  –  the  ghosts  just  showed  him  what  was  happening,  he  came  to  the  conclusions  himself  –  he  sold  himself  on  what  he  needed  to  do  without  the  ghosts  prodding  him.   8  
    • Stories  are  TRUSTWORTHY    They  are  disarming,  you  know  that  feeling  when  someone  is  trying  to  sell  you  something  or  ask  you  for  money,  you  put  up  that  wall.      Well,  storytelling  puts  us  in  an  entertaining  frame  of  mind,  lowers  guard  of  worrying  that  someone  is  pushing  something  on  us.   9  
    • Stories  Spread  Stories  last  for  years,  people  hear  a  story,  make  them  their  own  and  retell  them  [that’s  what  we  do  as  humans,  we  are  wired  that  way]   10  
    • It  is  all  these  elements  that  make  storytelling  such  a  powerful  tool.    Everyone  has  great  stories  around  them.  Some  of  us  just  have  to  look  harder  than  others.    We  have  stories  inside  the  walls  of  Strategic  Storytellers  too.  When  I  first  started  this  was  one  of  the  first  stories  I  heard…  The  story  of  Barney’s  fishing  trip  and  how  it  exemplifies  the  power  of  storytelling  and  got  him  to  see  the  Fairmont  brand  in  a  whole  new  light…    Read  story  at:  hjp://strategicstorytellers.com/ourstory_fairmont.php     11  
    • TumbleWeed  and  SageBrush  in  Vancouver.   12  
    • 13  
    • Facts  &  figures?  No,  if  you  look  a  lijle  deeper  and  bring  to  your  consciousness  what  you  are  really  thinking,  you  will  realize  that  every  =me  you  think  of  a  person  like  this  you  bring  up  your  own  built-­‐in  story  of  them  or  perhaps  a  story  about  yourself.    It  is  not  them  who  changed  the  world,  it  is  their  stories.  And  that  is  how  they  created  their  movements  –  they  planted  a  story  in  people’s  brains  that  was  memorable,  inspiring,  and  that  broke  the  majer  down  to  something  simple  people  could  hang  on  to  and  then  extrapolate  for  themselves  to  move  the  story  forward.   14  
    • For  a  non-­‐profit,  there  are  2  really  important  types  of  stories:    Explaining  stories  –  illustrate  a  point,  paint  a  vivid  picture  of  a  situa=on,  put  complex  issue  in  human  terms.  They  are  used  to  grab  ajen=on,  replace  or  supplement  sta=s=cs,  show  human  impact  of  the  work.  Note  though  that  these  stories  by  themselves  don’t  compel  people  to  act  but  they  leave  a  las=ng  impression  and  may  make  someone  to  want  to  know  more.    Compelling  donor  centric  story  -­‐  offers  readers/listener  an  opportunity  to  say  something  about  what  kind  of  person  they  are.  Set  the  donor  up  as  a  hero,  or  speaks  to  the  impact  one  person  can  have.  Your  org  is  not  the  hero  in  a  story  to  compel  someone  else  to  act.     15  
    • Explaining  Story  from  hCp://100khomes.org    Really  great  example  because  the  first  =me  I  watched  it  it  was  like  something  popped  in  my  brain,  changed  the  way  I  think  of  things  forever.      View  video  at:  hjp://bit.ly/KreLHF   16  
    • Compelling  donor  centric  story  from  hCp://invisiblepeople.tv  This  is  not  a  tradi=onal  make  donor  the  hero  but  brings  the  scale  of  the  problem  down  to  a  personal  scale.    This  org  started  because  of  a  story,  a  story  of  a  homeless  person  on  Hollywood  Blvd.  who  actually  thought  he  was  invisible  un=l  one  day  someone  handed  him  pamphlet  –  he  was  shocked  that  they  could  see  him.  View  Robert’s  story:  hjp://bit.ly/Luq3cj   17  
    • What  is  a  story:    It  is  about  a  character  dealing  with  some  obstacle  to  achieve  some  goal  –  which  he  may  or  may  not  be  able  to  overcome  but  some  kind  of  personal  transforma=on  occurs  as  he  tries.   18  
    • Doing  this  exercise  in  a  large  group  will  help  you  learn  from  hearing  yourself  tell  your  story,  from  hearing  how  other  people  tell  their  stories  and  if  you  do  this  exercise  with  your  own  staff  and  volunteers  you  might  just  find  that  next  big  story  that  will  change  the  world.  Thanks  to  the  Swiss  Agency  for  Development  and  Coopera=on  (SDC)  for  this  exercise:    Materials:  A  bell/  gong,  a  large  open  space  Method  Round  One  1.  Place  the  par=cipants  into  groups  of  up  to  10.  Move  the  chairs  to  one  side  –  the  exercise  is  run  standing  up.  2.  Ask  the  par=cipants  to  take  a  moment  to  think  of  a  moment  from  their  own  professional  experience  when  (for  example)  they  felt  really  inspired    3.  Each  person  in  the  group  has  90  seconds  to  share  their  story  4.  A  bell  is  sounded  at  the  end  of  each  90-­‐second  s=nt  to  signal  the  start  of  a  new  story.    Round  Two  5.  When  all  the  ten  stories  are  heard,  the  group  splits  up  with  each  person  finding  a  new  group  of  9  others.  When  everyone  is  sejled,  each  person  has  90  seconds  to  tell  the  same  story  again…     19  
    • ...  Clusters  and  Chains  6.  Each  person  recalls  the  story  that  most  resonated  with  them,  or  the  story  that  most  inspired  them.  7.  Everyone  stands  up  and  finds  the  person  who  told  this  story  and  puts  their  hand  on  his  or  her  shoulder.  8.  The  facilitator  asks  for  a  show  of  hands  of  all  those  who  have  one  hand  on  their  shoulder,  then  two,  then  three.  The  aim  is  to  find  the  top  3  stories  in  the  room  (i.e.,  the  tellers  with  the  most  hands  on  their  shoulders).  9.  The  top  3  stories  are  told  in  plenary.  Each  story  can  be  told  followed  by  20  seconds  of  silence  rather  than  applause.  The  audience  is  encouraged  to  no=ce  how  the  story  engages  them.  Each  story  is  given  a  name  that  conveys  some  aspect  of  its  essence.  +  what  engaged  them  about  it.     20  
    • 21  
    • This  survivor  video  story  that  we  did  for  Heart  &  Stroke  Founda=on  is  so  hot  off  the  presses  that  you  can’t  get  it  online  yet.   So  for  those  downloading  this  presenta=on  please  click  to  the  next  slide  to  see  a  corporate  survivor  story  we  did  for  RBC…  It  follows  the  same  principles…   22  
    • View  Bill’s  Story  -­‐  hjp://www.rbcinsurance.com/insuranceneeds/bill.html     23  
    • This  may  sound  obvious  but  we  oVen  have  a  great  story,  put  a  lot  of  effort  into  producing  it  and  then  release  it  and  watch  the  number  of  views  add  up  and  then  aVer  a  week  or  two  we  forget  about  it  and  so  does  everybody  else.  Good  stories  have  a  long  shelf  life,  we  just  have  to  nurture  them  and  help  them  succeed  beyond  our  expecta=ons.         24  
    • -­‐  Find  out  what  stories  spark  your  target  audience  –  it  may  be  interes=ng  to  staff   but  not  your  prospects  -­‐  Start  now  in  building  rela=onships  with  influencers  who  may  be  interested  in   sharing  your  story  (and  story  followups)  -­‐  Figure  out  if  the  story  is  genuine  to  who  you  are,  your  values  as  an  org  –  are  you   living  this  story?  If  not,  it  isn’t  the  story  for  you,  find  another.  -­‐  Start  blogging  about  the  values  that  are  ajached  to  your  story,  and/or  the   backgrounder  informa=on  that  will  help  your  target  audience  understand  the  story   to  a  greater  depth.  This  also  helps  the  story  seem  like  it  isn’t  coming  out  of  the   blue.  -­‐  Arm  your  biggest  supporters  (usually  staff,  board,  etc.)  on  how  they  can  use  the   story,  give  them  more  background  info  so  they  can  talk  about  it  in  their  circles   with  confidence.  -­‐  Ensure  there  is  a  mechanism  for  calls  to  ac=on   25  
    • -­‐      Reach  out  to  all  your  connec=ons  and  if  they  aren’t  the  target  audience,  give  them  another,  more  appropriate  ac=on  to  take  -­‐  Release  more  blog  posts,  more  stats/data,  infographics,  etc.,  that  =e  back  to  the   story,  release  this  for  over  a  long  period  so  you  can  con=nue  to  leverage/link  to   your  great  stories  -­‐  Don’t  make  your  story  an  orphan,  surround  it  with  follow-­‐up  stories,  updates,   behind  the  scenes  with  staff,  people  from  the  video  doing  speaking  engagements,   etc.  -­‐  Listen  to  what  people  are  saying,  how  are  they  taking  the  story  and  making  it  their   own?    How  can  you  share  other  people’s  spin  off  stories  and  become  a  story-­‐ sharer?  -­‐  Take  the  themes  and  keep  them  alive  in  conversa=on.  -­‐  Provide  next  steps  for  people  who  take  the  first  ac=on.    BASICALLY,  take  the  core  of  your  story  and  con=nue  to  live  it.  Con=nue  to  build  the  material  and  momentum  around  those  stories  throughout  the  year  in  your  communica=on  channels  –  online  and  off,  and  listen  to  how  people  are  engaging  with  that  story  to  find  new  opportuni=es.       26  
    • Thanks  to  the  Heath  Brothers  for  a  lot  of  the  inspira=on  in  this  presenta=on.   27  
    • Now  tell  your  story  that  will  change  the  world!     28