Search results for

raise

best practices persuasion self-advocacy

Want a raise? Tell the right kind of story.

Consider the homing pigeon, Cher Ami, who took a few bullets, losing her foot and eye during World War I, but still delivered her message, saving a group of American infantrymen in danger. Cher Ami was a hero, especially among the 77th Infantry Division. She was awarded the Croix de Guerre and later went on to open a tap dancing school for aviary fanciers who also had a single wooden leg. I made up the part about the tap dancing, but the rest…

Continue Reading

best practices persuasion self-advocacy

Use a cliffhanger at your next fundraiser

We watch and then we klatch. If you give your listener a cliffhanger, she can’t stop right there—er, she can’t let go. She HAS to hear the end of the story. This sequence (i.e., build up the story, hit pause right before the finale, watch the listener clamor for it) can rile up your fans/donors to give more because the tension is driving them nuts. Let them see the montage. The most successful fundraisers I have attended had (in addition to great organization, timing, and proper staffing)…

Continue Reading

self-advocacy

Tell first person stories to advocate for yourself

“Tell your own story and you will be interesting.” -Louise Bourgeois

A big “Yes, Orlando!” to the wonderful people from the Diversity and Tech community at Microsoft Ignite. A big “Ugh, Orlandon’t” to the humidity. So let’s focus on the positive. During my session about how to tell persuasive stories to self-advocate, about a dozen attendees stood up and shared personal stories. While their content varied, many shared a behavior in their delivery; they told personal stories in the…

Continue Reading

Diversity and Tech

Thank you for crafting your stories at the storytelling session with me during the Diversity and Tech Pre-Day at Microsoft Ignite 2018! If you’re here, it’s because you want to take your storytelling to the next level—so let me help. Here are five posts to help you keep advocating for yourself: Want a raise? Tell the right kind of story. Don’t make a long story too short When to fake it with your stories Oops, my protagonist is a token…

Continue Reading

best practices persuasion self-advocacy

Strategic storytelling isn’t manipulative

My kid saw an Elmo toothbrush at the grocery store the other day and insisted I buy it. He already had a toothbrush at home but it never fired him up like this one. In the end, figuring this would make him more likely to brush, I bought it. Did he manipulate me? Or persuade me? Or did I do one of those to him? Whenever I teach a workshop on strategic storytelling for nonprofits, I frame it within the art of…

Continue Reading

character selection

No one likes a pitiful protagonist

Deadpool is refreshing because there are no sacred cows. A few tropes sure: hero (or antihero? who cares) who seeks revenge and a British villain and this girlfriend…I won’t spoil it. The point is some storytellers use a heavy handed justification for why the protagonist is going full speed after his objective. I MUST AVENGE HER! I MUST PROVE THEM WRONG! DID YOU SEE WHAT HE DID TO MY FACE? I like how Deadpool doesn’t bog us down with it. Ok, maybe I have a little spoiler below.…

Continue Reading

best practices

Five Parts Are Better Than…

Thanks to the SuperBowl “Puppy Love” commercial, we now know the love story of puppy meets Clydesdale, Clydesdale falls for puppy, and so on. It is a familar story construction with unusual costars, which is why the audience can connect immediately and still see it as refreshing. In Harrison Monarths’ The Irresistible Power of Storytelling as a Strategic Business Tool, he writes about the commercial’s construction and Freytag’s five acts: exposition rising action climax falling action dénouement Interestingly, the ad…

Continue Reading

best practices self-advocacy

You Tell Your Story So I Can Tell Mine

We’ve already talked about naming relationships in stories and creating obstacles. Now, in our third entry for our series around storytelling, let’s talk about why we should tell our own stories rather than the stories of others. Telling other people’s stories doesn’t help people understand you If you asked my grandmother to tell you what is going on in her life she would say, “Oh, my grandson is a very busy teacher.” Perhaps her life may be all about her…

Continue Reading

best practices character selection

When Being “Partners” Dilutes Your Story

Do you call your doctor your “health partner”? Probably not. While you both care about your health, you each have different levels of knowledge, liability for poor decisions, and definitions of success. Using the word “partner” ignores all your differences. Lately, organizations are talking about telling their stories better. Every story needs a great relationship between its characters, and “partners” is one of the most popular relationships among philanthropists, nonprofits and consultants. Sometimes that term is accurate, but when it…

Continue Reading