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best practices character selection self-advocacy

You’re not the boss of me

The other night, I gave a guest lecture to a public relations class of working professionals. The students had lots of stories and even more questions, including one that stuck with me. A major l’esprit de l’escalier situation. Too bad you can’t retrofit emotion. A student was tinkering with a story about an engineer (protagonist) who worked on a tricky project (full of obstacles) in order to save his company money (objective). She was stumped because she had the first layer of parts to start but couldn’t pinpoint…

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character selection self-advocacy

Oops, my protagonist is a token

The other day I heard a story in a workshop starring a “35 year old woman.” Of the thousands of characteristics or quirks the newbie storyteller could have given her, he chose gender and age and left it at that. It was trouble. There was no way to attach to this vague outline of a person and the whole room told him so. It was an easy mistake to make. Don’t let your characters sound like perps in a police report.…

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best practices brand stories self-advocacy

Walk Your Talk (Or Fly It)

We’ve already talked about naming relationships in stories, creating obstacles, and telling our own stories. Now, in the fourth entry of our series about storytelling, let’s talk about how to deliver on what makes your organization special. Surely your organization has many positive characteristics going for it. The key is to pick the characteristics you most want to spotlight and show them in play. This approach is all about quality over quantity. You’re gonna have to prove it Almost every…

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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…

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