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Using Storytelling to Communicate Your School's Vision and Impact


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Presented at the NewSchools Venture Fund Summit

Published in: Education, Technology, Spiritual
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Using Storytelling to Communicate Your School's Vision and Impact

  1. 1. Using Storytellingto Communicate Your School’sVision and Impact Annie Escobar & Ethan Goldwater ListenIn Pictures
  2. 2. Leading the Movement to End Bad Non-Profit Video• Created videos for: – Achievement First – KIPP Foundation – TEAM Schools – ROADS charter schools – Explore charter school – NSVF
  3. 3. Download the free e-book and
  4. 4. The ChallengeFinding simplicity, coherence, interest.
  5. 5. “The most powerful humandrive is the one for connection.”
  6. 6. “People will forgetwhat you say, butthey will never forgetwhat you make themfeel.”-Maya Angelou
  7. 7. Our Brain on Stories When we’re engaged in a great story we feel a sense of reward and connection. Mirror neurons make us feel what others are feeling.
  8. 8. 70%of learning is through stories.
  9. 9. Your Story Basket• A collection of stories which illuminate different elements of your org’s approach. – Different versions of the same story for different audiences. – Each story demonstrates a lesson you’ve learned.
  10. 10. Your Story Basket• Organizational level: – The Origin Story – The Failures Along the Way – Impact Stories• Individual level: – Each member of your team has their own Calling story. – Encourage storytelling for culture, motivation, validation, sharing best practices
  11. 11. What makes a story great?
  12. 12. The ArchStories are about JOURNEYS: – Someone starts somewhere. – An inciting incident: They face a challenge – They have a moment of TRUTH/transformation that teaches them something about the world. – They move forward with their new insight.
  13. 13. Great Stories:• Include telling, vivid details/anecdotes, MOMENTS – The Challenge • “I cried on the first day of school” – The moment of transformation • “I cried in art class and everyone was there for me.” – The After • “When I’m reading I feel like I’m watching a movie”
  14. 14. Great Stories:• Are emotional• Show vulnerability• Share an insight or realization that relates to others• Are simple: only include details that reveal your message.
  15. 15. SimpleUnexpectedCredibleConcreteEmotionalStories
  16. 16. Great stories reflect on universal human needs: • The quest/need for: – Perfection- the need to master a practice through hard work – Truth- the need to tear down falsehood – Wholeness- the need to be part of a community beyond self. Belonging. – Simplicity- the need to find meaning behind complexity – Uniqueness- the need to express individuality/creativity – Justice- the need to resist abuses of power
  17. 17. What makes astory inspire?
  18. 18. Protagonists• Protagonists are PEOPLE• Feature specific people, not just ‘we’• A school or a program is not a protagonist
  19. 19. The Calling• An unfinished story that begins with a moment that WOKE YOU UP.• When you realized you couldn’t stay silent any longer. You needed to do something.• Explains what you are driven by, what your higher purpose is.
  20. 20. Connection Plot• Two people come together across a divide and they teach each other something about life.• Why they work: – Appeal to our need for connection – Reveal the human element underlying your motivation.• Example: A student who you connected with which taught you something about how schools should serve students’ needs.
  21. 21. Challenge Plot• An individual faces a challenge, has a realization about the world and overcomes that challenge.• Why they work: – We root for the underdog. – Contextualize the problem.• Example: A student who grew despite facing obstacles.
  22. 22. Creativity Plot• Someone finds a unique solution to an intractable problem• The story of how they discovered that solution.• They help people understand why your approach is unique.• Example: Trying something new with students and saw how it reached them.
  23. 23. The Origin Story• Have different versions of your stories that illuminate different points you want to emphasize. – The call – What you are driven by. – Connection – Why you care about what you do. – Challenge – Why you are prepared for the journey/able to succeed. – Creativity– Why your solution is best.
  24. 24. Communicating Impact• Use the 3 plots• Instead of sharing a lesson learned by those in the organization, they can carry a core message.
  25. 25. Fill Out the Worksheet up to ‘Vision’
  26. 26. The Invitation to Others After the story or all on its own.
  27. 27. Vision:Frame the world in anew way.Give people newlanguage to understandhow things are.Paint a new picture ofthem of what ispossible.
  28. 28. How to Tell Stories to Build a Movement• Be Inclusive: – “This is what I’ve learned, now you can join me in making this vision happen.”• They are a part of something that matters. – Let them know why they matter.• Appeal to the audience’s emotional & psychological needs
  29. 29. Fill out the Vision section.
  30. 30. Storytelling Time! Choose one story to share. -set up the problem/context -illuminate the moment of connection, realization or insight -summarize what the experience taught you, what you took from it, how it transformed you