- Start with story; I’ve heard so many boring pitches that begin something like ‘Nondescript charity was established in
etc etc …. Start with a story that illustrates the work the charity does. It might be the story of your founder; for example, Jane Smith was told by her doctor that she had breast cancer in 1993. The prognosis was bad. There was no one for her to talk to. She had to wait for hours in a cold waiting room for her referral appointment, afraid and alone. She decided that no one else should have to go through this so she set up Jane Smith Cancer centers. Places where people with cancer and their families could get help and support and not be alone.
- Find your own stories; don’t regurgitate stories that someone else has written for you. You have to connect to the story you tell, and the best way to do this is to find your own. Spend time with front line staff, service users, your colleagues and find stories, anecdotes that you can share and tell.
- Think about your audience – who are you telling your story to? What do you want them to think, feel and do? You will already intuitively do this. How you tell your story of last nights hot date will be different depending on whether you are telling your best mate, your granny or your boss. Before you craft any (!) story take time to think about your audience, consider what will spark their interest, and tell your story for their ears.
- And finally practice. As with anything, the more you practice the better you get. Practice telling stories, listen to and read more, notice when you feel something; what did the story-teller do to evoke that emotion in you? Learn from others and work those lessons into your own storytelling.