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! WHY TELL STORIES? Storytelling is a powerful tool. It can be used to share inforation, raise awareness, proote effective practices, epower stakeholders to advocate and contribute to sustainability efforts.
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! WHY TELL STORIES? Storytelling is a powerful tool. It can be used to share inforation, raise awareness, proote effective practices, epower stakeholders to advocate and contribute to sustainability efforts. And when groups of people are able to narrate a shared experience - the collective ipact of that essage is aplified. This toolkit is intended to support grantees in developing and sharing stories of successes and lessons learned while ipleenting Counity Innovation Zones (CIZ). Think about what story you would like to tell. What accoplishent would you like to share? Is there a lesson learned that would be beneficial for others to hear? Story STRATEGY Success 6 BUILDING BLOCKS OF STORYTELLING Consider the following steps when developing your story in order to convey a clear and concise essage in a powerful, copelling way. STEP 1 STEP 2 STEP 3 STEP 4 STEP 5 STEP 6 THE IMPACT There should always be a desired ipact of your stories. What easurable outcoe would ake your storytelling initiative successful? What end result is ost iportant? What specific action do you want your audience to take? Deterine the purpose to help frae your storytelling. EFFECTIVE CHARACTER Most stories contain a single, copelling character that is relatable to the audience and who is cofortable relaying specific details, eories and experiences. This character doesn t always have to be a child or faily it could a staff eber, volunteer, board eber, or even a eber of the larger counity. Who is going to be the focal character in your story? TRAJECTORY Effective stories have a beginning, iddle, and end. Stories should chronicle soething that happens - an experience, a journey, a success, a transforation, a discovery, a lesson learned, showcasing an ipact that your organization has had. What do you want to highlight in your story? Make sure to present a clear, concise story about a single issue. AUTHENTICITY Stories should also show - rather than just tell - the audience about the character s journey, using rich details and featuring the character s own voice. Authenticity coes down to choosing the right character and knowing the right details to ephasize. ACTION-ORIENTED EMOTIONS Stories should convey eotions that ove people to act, and arry these with clear, easy-to-find pathways to get the to those desired actions - reeber your desired ipact for the story! A HOOK Stories should capture the audience s attention as quickly as possible. A hook provides a reason to care and answers the following questions iediately Whose story is it? What s happening? What s at stake? 1 OTHER STRATEGIES TO CONSIDER... IDENTIFY YOUR AUDIENCE. Stories should be crafted and delivered differently based on your audience. Consider how your audience will perceive the essage. KEEP MESSAGES SIMPLE AND CONCISE. Work to highlight your ain ideas less is ore! USE PLAIN LANGUAGE. Avoid jargon and acronys whenever possible. ADD DATA. Using high-quality data that is reliable and trustworthy can strengthen your essage. INCLUDE IMAGES. Pictures visually reinforce your essage and grab the attention of your audience. SEE RESOURCES & TOOLS SECTION FOR 6 BUILDING BLOCKS OF STORYTELLING TEMPLATE Exaple of Storytelling Initiative STRONG START FOR STRONG CITIES a strong start for our littlest RESIDENTS eans building a strong future for our cities Supporting access to affordable, high-quality early learning is a win-win-win for our failies, businesses, and our econoy! Maá LEARN MORE HERE DELIVERING YOUR STORY Copelling stories can be told across a variety of different edia. While the building blocks of storytelling can help to develop the content of your story, choosing the right delivery approach can help to ensure your story has the intended ipact. Grantees can strategically ake use of a variety of counication approaches to tell stories of innovations, successes, and lessons learned through the PA CIZ grant work. The following sections of the toolkit will provide you with advice, tips and best practices on using social edia, visual storytelling, and interviews to offer support in sharing your ost pressing stories. SOCIAL MEDIA (Page 3) Social edia allows for a way to diversify counication by using various approaches to share ultiple types of inforation with different audiences of interest. You have any channels to choose fro such as Twitter, Facebook, Digital Photo Sharing (like Instagra), Blogging, etc. when deciding how to distribute your stories. VISUAL STORYTELLING (Page 10) Visual storytelling can be used to tell a story quickly with ipact. Powerful visuals are helpful in evoking eotions and grabbing the attention of your audience. One ethod is by using a PechaKucha approach, which is a quick, siple presentation forat of a slide show with a set tieline that encourages presentations to be concise and engaging. INTERVIEWS (Page 1 ) Interviews can be an effective way of gathering stories to reinforce your essage. Conducting interviews with colleagues, failies, and other key stakeholders is a useful way to begin building a repository of copelling stories to illustrate the underlying processes involved in your work or even to deonstrate ipact. StoryCorps-inspired interviews offer an approach to record such experiences and successes in ipleenting your early learning work. 2 SOCIAL MEDIA ADVICE, TIPS & BEST PRACTICES 3 SOCIAL MEDIA WHY DO IT? Social edia fosters counication. Social edia is an ever-present and increasingly popular way to connect with others. What distinguishes social edia fro other storytelling platfors is that grantees can use it to: WHAT TOOLS COULD I USE? SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS The following platfors can be used to counicate essages to diverse audiences. Use this inforation to deterine how to forat and share essages through each platfor. TWITTER FACEBOOK INSTAGRAM BLOGS Key Features Key Features Key Features Key Features connected hashtags sites how to view tweets Benefits opportunities create relevant with live events towards visual features aggregation strong snapshot of user Benefits inforation for significant engageent and what ties to post and prooted content photos and short videos other ajor platfors and coents Benefits obile phone is good for behind the scenes stories and events be shared on other authors to pull in other Benefits individual as a thought leader into a website position higher in search content 4 HOW DO I USE THEM? Using the 6 Building Blocks of Storytelling, stories and essages can be fraed on respective social edia platfors each providing for unique ways to share ultiple types of inforation with different audiences. The following section highlights a few key tips and real-world exaples for using each of the platfors to support effective storytelling. TWITTER Twitter uses only 140 characters per tweet, however stories can also be told using ultiple tweets. Twitter uses #hashtags (#ece for early childhood education), so people can locate related conversations and track the source of inforation. Consider creating a hashtag specific to your storytelling effort, like #ECEatters USE IMAGES & HASHTAGS TO EXPAND YOUR REACH* Twitter has a feature where users can directly tag other people, schools, and organizations to spread the essage. Think about who is involved in your story or who you want to directly share it with (e.g., failies, counity leaders, businesses, policyakers, etc.) and use feature to tag the in your tweet. Use url shorteners, like or, instead of posting long urls that distract users away fro the essage. Tweet about your stories while participating in a Twitter chat, which is where a structured conversation is held between various people/organizations. You can join in on existing events or even host a chat of your own. SUPPORT STORY COLLECTION EFFORTS ON TWITTER* { TWITTER CHATS CAN PROMOTE TWO-WAY COMMUNICATION & STRATEGY SHARING BETWEEN ORGANIZATIONS 5 FACEBOOK Facebook allows for ore text and characters in a post, so longer stories can be shared in one post. Posts can be used to connect stories to issues that are relevant to the surrounding counity. USE MULTIPLE PHOTOS IN ONE POST TO SHARE THE HAPPENINGS OF AN EVENT * Facebook has like, share, and coent options so users can interact with shared stories in ultiple ways. Offer helpful links, such as to your organization s website, progra overviews and steps on how viewers can get involved in aplifying your story or essage. Facebook users are able to post ultiple photos that are autoatically saved into a photo albu to enhance storytelling. SHARE COMPELLING EXCERPTS TO ATTRACT ATTENTION & DRAW THE AUDIENCE TO THE LINK & THE REST OF THE STORY USERS CAN INTERACT WITH YOUR POSTS LIKE COMMENT LOVE FORWARD AND MORE... 6 INSTAGRAM Instagra is driven by iages and brief videos, but users can share stories to contextualize the iages and videos shared. Use #hashtags, like with Twitter, to link content and create a consistent thee. VIDEO CAN HELP SHARE ELEMENTS OF YOUR STORY * Captions don t always have to be short and can share ore detailed stories like short blurbs to spotlight parent abassadors. (Exaple: see National Geographic s to get a sense of how they tell their stories) Shorter captions can be used to announce counity events by posting flyers or posting what your organization is up to with a workday candid. Work to diversify photos and perspectives (e.g., behind the scenes, prootional, day in the life, etc.), so that ultiple voices are captured. Instagra is linked to Facebook, Twitter, and other social edia platfors, so users can post one tie to Instagra and the app will post to other social edia platfors autoatically. URLs to other content (e.g., blogs on your website) ust be shared via profiles on Instagra a little different than with other platfors. Instagra uses photo-editing software (filters) to support users in iproving the quality of the photo. Take advantage of visual opportunities you can also work to share iages overlaid with calls-to-action in text, or videos to enhance your story. FILTERS CAN ENHANCE THE QUALITY OF THE PHOTO* POST TO INSTAGRAM THEN YOU CAN AUTOMATICALLY POST TO OTHER SOCIAL MEDIA 7 BLOGS Blogs ostly have unliited space for text, photos, and video, therefore this platfor can be used to tell a coplete story, or a series of stories. Blogs can be posted once, and continuously shared as a link in Facebook, Twitter, and other social edia posts. Blogs should have an attention-grabbing title to draw users into reading the story. MULTIPLE PERSPECTIVES AND EXPERIENCES CAN BE USED TELL A STORY (TO Delaying Kindergarten: Our Experience As Parents & Educators Should I send y 5-year-old to Kindergarten, or should I wait a year? What are the benefits of redshirting y child for Kindergarten? What s the big deal? It s KINDERGARTEN! CURRENT, RELEVANT EVENTS CAN ACT AS A BACKDROP FOR YOUR STORY( BLOGS ALLOW FOR STORIES TO BE TOLD FROM THE PERSPECTIVE OF MANY DIFFERENT AUTHORS 8 SOCIAL MEDIA QUICK TIPS Counication is two-way - post often, but also listen and engage Deciding on a regularly scheduled day/tie to post will ake it consistent for your audience, but also ore anageable to incorporate into your daily routine. Make sure to check out your social edia analytics to understand the best tie to share on each platfor and when it s tie to stop sharing content. If you notice the optial posting tie for your audience is around lunch tie, ake sure to post then to ensure they have soething consistent to look forward to. And if a post is perforing well, ake sure to bring it back and share it again on another platfor or on the sae platfor at a later tie. Social edia is largely about quality and not quantity. It can be iportant to schedule sharing your content to ake sure you are not overwheling followers, subscribers, etc. with ultiple postings on all platfors at the sae tie. Services, like Hootsuite, Twittier and CoSchedule, are useful tools in pacing the deliverly of stories being shared and to save tie. Or even a siple social edia calendar like the one below can be helpful. Reeber to ix up your publishing frequency to not only share your own content, but retweet or repost relevant content and essages fro others. Get social! When soeone reaches out or coents on a post, it ay be useful to have a plan on how to respond and/or engage in conversations with your social edia counity. 9 VISUAL STORYTELLING ADVICE, TIPS & BEST PRACTICES 10 VISUAL STORYTELLING WHY DO IT? A picture is worth a thousand words. This is especially true when it coes to storytelling. Huans are biologically wired for visual content with our brains being able to process iages 60,000x faster than text. Big, bold iages can be used to tell stories with ipact and eotion, and by incorporating visual stiuli the flow of inforation is quickly sent to the audience. Although visuals can help to tell stories quickly, they have to be the right iages. When a visual is a powerful one, the effect of the story can be agnified. Powerful visuals can evoke deeper eotions and result in a deeper engageent with your content. Thanks to online photo libraries, like istock and Flickr, high-quality iages are easy to obtain. However, it is ay be iportant to note that using real, candid iages that capture your story or that further illustrate your essage can be even ore powerful in connecting with your audience. As you use the 6 Building Blocks of Storytelling to frae your story, it ay be helpful to also consider what visuals could I use to enhance y storytelling and bring y essage to life? THE EYES are a physical extention of the brain 90% of inforation transitted to the brain is visual HALF OF THE BRAIN is dedicated to visual function 65% of the population are visual learners SEE! An infographic helps us to visualize & understand inforation! WHAT TOOLS COULD I USE? PechaKucha Facts This presentation forat, devised in 2003 by Astrid Klein and Mark Dytha of Tokyo s Klein-Dothan Architecture, was a way to attract people to their experiental event space. PechaKucha Nights allowed for young designers to eet, show their work, and effectively exchange ideas. Now events are being held in over 900 cities worldwide. Instagra offers a platfor for visual storytelling through virtual sharing of photos and short videos (See Social Media section for ore inforation). Another option for visual storytelling that is growing in popularity is the PechaKucha presentation forat. PechaKucha (which eans Chit Chat in Japanese) is a siple presentation style where 20 slides (iages) are shown for 20 seconds each. The iages advance autoatically, and presenters talk along with the iages. The goal of a PechaKucha is to tell a story through pictures in a way that is both copelling and concise. Watch a presentation here on the PA CIZ effort or visit for ore exaples and inforation. 11 HOW DO I USE THEM? For helpful advice, tips, and best practices in using Instagra, be sure to check out the Social Media section of the toolkit. For using the PechaKucha presentation forat, we have put together a set of tips in this section to hopefully act as a guide to support you in using this approach to tell the stories encountered with ipleenting PA CIZ work in a powerful, copelling way. We have organized these tips into three buckets planning, designing, and delivering a PechaKucha. PLANNING DESIGNING DELIVERING PLANNING A PECHAKUCHA When you start planning a PechaKucha, one of the best things to do is to watch soe actual PechaKucha presentations. You can visit to view a wide selection in their online library. Watching a few exaples ight help to spark soe ideas for what you could do when creating your own presentation. As discussed before, it is iportant to first develop your story using the 6 Building Blocks of Storytelling. What ipact do you want your story to have? What is the key essage you want to highlight? Who is going to be the focal character in your story? What data do you have to support your story? Once decided, you can work to build your presentation and talking points around this frae. Keeping it siple is key. Try not to cra too uch into your presentation. Those that do often find theselves having to talk rapidly to try to fit everything in. Less is definitely ore in this situation. Reeber to keep your presentation siple and within the frae of your story. Since the PechaKucha forat is so tightly structured, it is also very helpful to plan out exactly what you are going to say. It is very difficult to wing it with this type of presentation - 20 seconds per slide doesn t leave uch roo to ad lib. You could start with a siple table to outline slide by slide what iages you plan to include along with your talking points. SEE RESOURCES & TOOLS SECTION FOR PECHAKUCHA PLANNING TEMPLATE. There are of course a variety of ways to get organized outside of using a table. Filling in presenter notes inside of Keynote or PowerPoint progras index cards butcher paper sticky notes whatever ethod works best for you. The overall goal is to hone your story to ake sure it fits within this short presentation tie. 20 seconds for each slide flies by faster than you would expect. You can work to tweak your outline. Reove what is not required; cobine soe parts of the outline into one slide; or divide others as necessary. 12 DESIGNING A PECHAKUCHA After you finish outlining the content, the next phase is to start designing your actual slides. To begin, it is helpful to ake the presentation graphics heavy. Add iages to your presentation that are relevant to your story. Pictures can help to visually reinforce your essage and grab the attention of your audience. If you decide to use text on the slide, try to keep it short and siple. Work to just highlight the ain ideas. Most often, your text content will be restricted to your slide titles. Long passages are often distracting and encourage your audience to read rather than listen to what you are sharing. The ost successful PechaKuchas use very little, if any text. Aniation and transitions can be an engaging addition to your presentation. Keynote, PowerPoint and other presentation software can offer various options to bring text to life. Keep in ind that words flying, swiping, or swirling could potentially be distracting while you are delivering your story. You ust decide whether aniation will add value to your slide, or otherwise. DELIVERING A PECHAKUCHA At the end of the design process, you should end up with 20 slides. Now tie to review play and watch your slides. Do the slides build up well to convey your story? If you feel the answer is no, then you should go back and edit the content and sequencing of your slides until the flow of your story works to clearly convey your essage. 20X20 SLIDES SECONDS Practice your presentation. The flow of each PechaKucha perforance is very quick. Even with a condensed outline, you ay find it to be too uch. You ay need to take soe words out or rephrase a stateent to ake sure you stick to the 20 second ark. Being in sync with your slides ay take repeated practice, but is key to a successful PechaKucha presentation. Recording PechaKuchas can be a useful alternative to share your story through social edia, on a website, or through any other ethod where an in person presentation is not feasible. Again Keynote and PowerPoint are both great options to both create and record your PechaKuchas. You can use settings in the software to advance slides autoatically and audio record your presentation. Links to step-by-step tutorials have been included for additional support. 13 KEYNOTE TUTORIALS Need help creating a PechaKucha in Keynote? Get help here! Need help recording in Keynote? Get help here! POWERPOINT TUTORIALS Need help creating a PechaKucha in PowerPoint? Get help here! Need help recording in PowerPoint? Get help here! VISUAL STORYTELLING QUICK TIPS 14 INTERVIEWS ADVICE, TIPS & BEST PRACTICES 15 INTERVIEWS WHY DO IT? People connect best with people. Stories that e
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