We’ve said many times how storytelling is something businesses should do. It helps build brand awareness and increase bottom-line results. But the powers and effects of storytelling are not limited to increasing company profits.
It’s also a powerful tool when it comes to getting worthwhile ideas across. Stories are great for businesses. But they’re as wonderful for non-profits and movements. If you have a cause that you want to advocate, you need to tell great stories.
Why are stories so effective? It’s because they are great tools for getting people’s attention. They help in delivering messages that stick. Movements need both. So how can non-profits, causes, and advocacies use powerful storytelling to take action? How do you get people to donate, recycle, take a foster child, protect wildlife or take part in any worthy cause? Here are three ways that you can start.
Give others a voice
In July 2011, Benjamin Nolot released “Nefarious,” a documentary that focused on the injustices in sex trafficking. It was a powerful story. That’s because it showed the actual lives of victims- real people who were stuck in a system that they didn’t wish to be in.
Movements can get a message across when they tell real stories of real people. When we hear objections from the point of view of those who struggle, it invokes strong emotions and a willingness to take action. What movement are you advocating and who are the people who you can give a voice?
Create a strong objection story
An objection story is one that voices out a strong opposition to a status quo or culture that is affecting others. Every non-profit needs one. What is the big conflict and what must we do to end it? What small and applicable steps can your audience take to end it? These are a few questions that you need to answer.
Use facts to strengthen your claim
We talked about the importance of research last week. While facts and statistics aren’t enough to make a case, it can be a great supplement to a powerful story. Back your objections up with real figures and research that will strengthen your claims. This must happen to break down any prepositions of bias. A great example of this would be “That Sugar Film,” a feature on the effects of sugar on the human body. The film uses research and statistics on the effects of sugar on people.