Storytelling Strengthens Nonprofit Boards

When a nonprofit foundation asked me to introduce its board members to the power of story, I designed a presentation for a quarterly board meeting that was in part a keynote and in part a workshop. The reason: It was important for the board members to have time to apply the principles right away so they could experience the power of stories on an audience.

By sharing a story “on the spot” with a partner, each person was able to confirm that stories do, indeed

  • engage an audience’s attention
  • create personal connections
  • deliver a key message effectively
  • help the listener “feel” the point
  • make the message memorable, or as Dan and Chip Heath say, “sticky”

We’re following up on that experience with individual coaching sessions so that all the board members can identify, develop and hone a personal story that exemplifies their commitment to the Foundation and its work. Their personal stories are far more effective than any data they can share with the community about how the Foundation serves the community’s needs.

What stories can you tell that will make your favorite nonprofit’s work “come alive”?

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