Friday, August 16, 2013

The Three Secrets of Storytelling (plus an extra one, just in case)

I spent a fascinating day yesterday with colleagues at the Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest, NJ, along with JDC’s CEO, Alan Gill. 
One of the most interesting questions I heard at lunch was about how JDC tells its story, and how can we help our federations equip themselves with the tools and concepts of storytelling.

It’s a really good question, and it’s one we grapple with all the time. 
So ... here are a few thoughts. And I’d be more than happy to hear feedback and comments:

(1)    It has to be personal. You can’t share my stories. Ok, at a pinch, you can say “I just had lunch with Dov from the Joint and he told me this great story about …” But really, the best stories are the ones that are yours, and that show your personal enthusiasm.

(2)    It has to be meaningful to the audience and their values. You can’t just talk about how great you are. You have to show them how great their values and ideals are, through the work that you’re doing on their behalf.

(3)    It has to be good. You’ve got to practice, practice, practice before you stand up in front of an audience. You can’t stand up and say something without having rehearsed it beforehand.

I’ll share some of my favorite blogs and sources at a future post. But for now, I want to make one more point: you have to have some kind of passion for what you’re presenting. 
If you’re standing in front of a crowd and reading “I’m so excited to be here” in a flat monotone … it ain’t gonna resonate.

Shabbat shalom.

1 comment:

  1. Don't forget the Pixar story spine...Frame the story before you start. Once upon a time...then one day...because of that...because of that...until finally...and ever since that day...