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
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.
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
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.
There are many ways stories can be presented. Just be sure to consider where/how your audience gathers and shares information:
|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
- Storytelling as Change Strategy from Andy Goodman
- Storytelling lessons learned from Wisconsin tobacco control coalitions
- Using stories in public testimony tips and tools
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.