Storytelling Toolkit

Share Your Story

Facts can be a good way to make your case, but telling a story can be even more effective. Stories can make your audience laugh, cry or get angry; emotions like these influence decisions. Plus, stories are much easier to remember than statistics.

I just realized how powerful and effective
stories can be.

- MJC Coordinator

The Why

With stories we can demonstrate that we are doing a good job, highlight important accomplishments, show that we are making a positive difference in the lives of real people in Wisconsin, and justify a continued investment in tobacco control.

The What

These types of stories tend to have the greatest impact:

  • Stories illustrating how someone's life has improved
  • Stories that put a real face on statistics and outcomes
  • Stories that show how your organization - or the Wisconsin Tobacco Prevention and Control Program as a whole - has made a difference

The When

You don't need a brand-new story for every situation. The same story can be used in multiple ways, like at an in-district meeting, as public testimony, or while visiting an editorial board. 

The How

There are many ways stories can be presented. Just be sure to consider where/how your audience gathers and shares information:

Type Example
Printed Materials First Breath's stop-smoking success stories
Websites and Social Media Wisconsin is Better Smoke-Free's smoke-free air celebration campaign on Twitter
Audio National Public Radio's One Teen's Struggle to Quit Smoking
Audiovisual UW-CTRI's quit-smoking stories
Photos Flickr's "Tell a Story in Five Frames" challenge

Using Stories to Promote Change

More Examples

General tobacco stories
Cessation stories
Smoke-free park stories
Smoke-free workplace stories

For More Information

The Wisconsin Clearinghouse can help make your stories shine, whether you're telling them face-to-face or through photos, videos, and presentations. Contact Julie Swanson to learn more.

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