How to tell an engaging story mid-winter institute 2013
1. How to tell an engaging story
United Way Mid-Winter Institute
• Who is this guy (@ctrappe) ? Where I came
from … where I’m heading
3. Rules, rules, rules!
• Got a question? Ask it. That increases your
chances of it being answered.
• Share your thoughts, experiences, opinions,
• This session is on the record… you can find
the slides here:
• How to identify stories
• Identifying the best way(s) to tell them
• How to execute efficiently
• Identifying channels, measuring results
• Tips on making time to respond and talking
with people on all those channels.
• Who can tell me something that has
– Worth sharing
– Possible: That you shared at breakfast this
morning, dinner last night, mentioned on the
phone, calling home?
15. How to spot/develop a story?
• Pay attention (gym example, outside, etc.)
• Write down ideas …
• Bring them up to co-workers (at home
maybe?) Is this interesting? What do you think
• Does it fit into our mission?
– Why would we share it? How does it fit into our
16. How to spot a story – Hold That
• Your stories need to fit into your business
• What would sharing a story accomplish?
– Eye opening
What are your business goals?
17. Examples of business goals
• Be the community connector
• Raise funds to improve the community
• Connect people to resources
Can you verbalize how this story fits into those
(or your) goals?
22. Execute efficiently
• Keep your eyes open
• Write down ideas!
• Make the time. Find the value!
• An easy way: Record things on video/audio
– “I’m out. I don’t have the equipment.” Anyone say
that? Let’s look at the equipment you have.
• Summaries and pictures
• What are you most comfortable with?
• Share stories on channels. Don’t have a “scoop
23. Stories – What to do
• Share authentic stories (Doesn’t mean to share
• Involve real people
– Clip art/models >>>> Authentic/Real people
– Explain why this is important. One (off-camera)
comment from a client shown in video: “I hope this
will help donations.”
• Explain it simply.
– 21st century skills >>> Skills you need in tomorrow’s
jobs, for example
• Be specific!
24. Stories – What not to do
• Use big words
• Use acronyms
• Make up names
• Look for reasons why not to share it.
– Ask people (interviewees) nicely. Give them the
option. Don’t assume people don’t want to
• Share confidential things!
If it doesn’t feel right to publish,
probably shouldn’t be
published … but figure out
what’s amiss, fix and then
26. Your brand voice
• How do you want to come across?
• Example for United Way in Cedar Rapids…
27. Brand voice
Serious, but fun. But not silly!
Definitely not markety!
28. What’s markety?
• Avoid words like this:
– This FANTASTIC event.
– Everyone has/will have fun.
– Biggest event ever.
– The best
– The fastest
– The slickest
32. Time management
• Do you check emails? Voicemails?
• Same for social/website/etc. Check if anyone
has said something and respond ….
• Could set time periods for this. Set
expectations … especially social.
36. OK. I’m tired. Time for a break…
On your own… (make a plan!)
• Pick a story (one you’ve featured or know of)
• Does it fit into business goals?
• Tell the story in 15-20 words!
• Outline how you would share on the different