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5 proven storytelling tips to engage your audience

Video Production
by Mike Wilkins
Published on
Screenshot 2023-10-31 at 16.04.40

Charities are under pressure. They are facing increasing regulations and competition for funding whilst trying to maintain the essential support they provide to the community. Charities need to stand out to survive.

I recently had the honour of leading a storytelling workshop for Guernsey charities at their first-ever annual conference organised by the Association of Guernsey Charities. The conference's theme was "Building an Effective Voluntary Sector", and I wanted to share some insights on crafting compelling stories that shift perspectives, influence behaviour and motivate people to act.

Storytelling is a powerful tool for communication, persuasion, and education. It can help you connect with your audience, convey your message, and inspire change. But how do you create a story that works?

Here are five tips that can help you shape your story:

  1. Define your goal(s). What do you want to achieve with your story? What is the main message or call to action? How do you want your audience to feel or think after hearing your story?

  2. Identify your audience. Who are you telling your story to? What are their interests, needs, and challenges? How can you relate to them and make them care about your story?

  3. Brainstorm creatively. Don't limit yourself to the obvious or the expected. Explore different angles, perspectives, and scenarios. Use prompts, questions, and exercises to spark your imagination and generate ideas.

  4. Structure your story. A good story has a clear beginning, middle, and end. It also has a plot, characters, conflict, and resolution. Think about introducing your story, building tension and suspense, and delivering a satisfying conclusion.

  5. Review your story. Once you have your story ready, test it out. Ask for feedback from others. Check if your story is clear, engaging, and effective.

The foundation of your story doesn’t need to be complicated. Look at how the Samaritans tell a story about mental health below:

At a time when many people advocate short-form video, the Samaritans and Norwich FC produced a video that was two and a half minutes long, which you watched to the end. That’s because it’s a great story. From a production perspective, it wouldn’t be too expensive to make either.

If your charity is interested in finding out more about storytelling, then please have a look at the workshop slides or get in touch with me. Orchard believes in communications as a force for good, so we offer a discounted video service for charities.

Mike Wilkins
Mike Wilkins

Head of Digital & Video Production

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