“Stories are how we learn best. We absorb numbers and facts and details, but we keep them all glued into our heads with stories.” – Chris Brogan
Your story is the most important part of advocacy! While no one can write your story for
you, we would like to provide you with a few tips to make your story impactful and
3 Basic Parts:
In order to have an impact, your story should have three basic parts;
- Introduction – let your audience know who you are and why they should listen (e.g. you are a parent/patient/provider, a constituent) and find a common ground
- Your Story – what is your experience with CHD? How does it tie in with key talking points? See below for specific tips for developing your personal story
- The Ask – Make sure you ask your listener to do something (e.g. visit a website, donate, sign a petition, support funding)
Tips for telling your story:
- Keep it short – many of us feel we could write a novel, but a 2-3 minute story is best for most circumstances
- Be clear – use plain words and avoid medical jargon, this may be the first time your listener is hearing about congenital heart disease
- Speak from the heart – Yes, it is ok to choke up as you are relating your experience
- Be accurate and honest – don’t make anything up to enhance your story
- Avoid relying on statistics – one or two catchy facts are usually a good balance to your story
- Be polite, respectful, patient, and grateful – win them with your positive passion
- Practice, practice, practice. Tell your story to others and notice their reactions. After each practice, edit what you liked, and what you didn’t like.
Find and print out CHD facts that you can use in your story, or even give to your listener.
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for an up-to-date, personalized list of talking points.