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Special Olympics 1 Storytelling for Special Olympics Training June 2012 / Ryan Eades.

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Presentation on theme: "Special Olympics 1 Storytelling for Special Olympics Training June 2012 / Ryan Eades."— Presentation transcript:

1 Special Olympics 1 Storytelling for Special Olympics Training June 2012 / Ryan Eades

2 Special Olympics 2 The Power is in the Story Special Olympics has a very powerful story to tell. People want to hear our story. They want to engage with our stories. They want to be driven to action by our stories. It’s our job to tell our stories to meet this need. With consistency. This training will provide an in- depth look at how we can do this, why it is important and incorporate some hands on training and examples of stories. Traditionally we tell people “WHAT” we do. We are good at sharing facts and figures - the informational. What we want to do is shift to a model of telling stories that are character driven, customized, that talk to someone about someone – the emotional. As we get started, we’d like to offer these quick tips for you to keep in mind throughout your storytelling process: * Don’t Tell. Show. * Talk to someone, about someone. * Let characters speak. * Stir emotion. * Have a moment of truth. * Have a clear meaning.

3 Special Olympics Introduction 3 The Lemonade Stand Theory of Storytelling* Whenever I’m driving through a neighborhood and I see a lemonade stand with children making and selling their lemonade I’m compelled to stop. Not because I’m craving lemonade, or whatever the product that day might be that I can probably get at any number of convenience stores along my trip, I stop because there’s a story behind the lemonade stand. I may not know the details, but I know it’s there, and I have an idea of what it might be. When I get home, I can mention to my wife that I stopped at a lemonade stand and tell her all the cute things the child did as she made the sale. One girl’s lemonade stand is no different from (or less important than) any business’ product, service, app, or in Special Olympics’ case, supporting the mission. I’m going to stop/purchase/download/volunteer/coach/donate only if I have a reason to care. Maybe I care about Special Olympics, or maybe I just care about me (which is usually the case for most people). The point is, I’m busy and something in Special Olympics’ story has to resonate with me. If I’m bombarded by nothing but a bunch of facts, jargon and stats, I’ll just keep on going, because I can’t be late for that super important thing down the road.

4 Special Olympics Introduction 4 The Lemonade Stand Theory of Storytelling* This isn’t insignificant. Audiences don’t think of the world from our brand’s point of view. They don’t care about the fact that our new campaign launched today and we really need to double our revenue this year. What our marketing leaders and all brand ambassadors in the Special Olympics Movement need to be asking ourselves is a question posed by industry leader Seth Godin: “Are you going to build something that’s as interesting as the Leaning Tower of Pisa? Are you going to make a product or service that when people are done using it, they can’t help but tell their friends about? The story is all that’s going to spread. Not the facts, but the story.” It’s important to look at our brand’s content-marketing efforts from an outsider’s perspective. Are we giving our audience reasons to care about us? Are we giving our audience content that they not only want but also want to share? When they drive by our version of a lemonade stand, will they feel compelled to stop? *Adapted from a blog post by Jon Thomas on blog post by Jon Thomas

5 Special Olympics Storytelling for Business Goals 5 Stories are how we learn best. We absorb numbers and facts and details, but we keep them all glued into our heads with stories. Stories let us convey wisdom, and/or explain information in an entertaining way. Right off the bat, let’s accept that press releases aren’t stories (at least not necessarily). They’re just information formatted to be absorbed by a news organization. That’s okay. They’re not meant to be stories. Stories come out of a narrative that usually involves experiences, actions, and discernable change. They take place in a setting, have characters, and often have a theme about them.

6 Special Olympics Storytelling for Business Goals 6 What’s the secret to telling a great story? Step out from the background, get ahead of the numbers, and put a name, face, and some personality behind your effort and you will see increased engagement. Harness the power of the personal. People forget facts, but they never forget a great story. Advertising knows this. They do it often. Take for instance this campaign Levi's ran not too long ago. It works perfectly as a story. It might even get you interested in buying more Levi’s products, because you see yourself as part of the story. URL:

7 Special Olympics Storytelling for Business Goals 7 The message the girl narrating conveys even resonates with our work in Special Olympics - "People think there aren't frontiers anymore. They can't see how frontiers are all around us." While this great ad/story stands on it's own, Levi's knows that people will want more, so now that they've got you hooked, they bring you in and tell you the deeper story. URL:

8 Special Olympics Storytelling for Business Goals 8 So, how do WE do this? Let’s start with some very basic questions and then get into some specifics of how we want to tell our stories. Take a step back before crafting your story and ask:  What do I want the audience to feel?  What do I want the audience to remember?  What is the critical moment in the story? Make sure you know what message you want your audience to come away with, so that the story you’ve told is one your audience can retell, too.

9 Special Olympics How We Want To Tell Our Story 9 Start with a character and a point of view. We must tell a story about someone to someone. Harry Potter is the story of a young boy who feels he’s very different and very left out, discovering that he’s not where he was meant to be, and then it grows into this larger epic about defeating evil. We have these stories around every corner in Special Olympics about athletes, coaches, volunteers, doctors, officials, etc. We can, for example, tell a story about Jessie, a high school junior who chose to volunteer with Special Olympics to fulfill her community service requirement in order to graduate high school and we can tell the story of how surprised she was to get more out of the experience then she felt like she gave.

10 Special Olympics How We Want To Tell Our Story 10 Have a point to the story. Jessie can no doubt give us an interview, but just asking her questions and getting the answers isn’t a story. It’s an interview. The point might come out from the interview, or the point might be to gear the questions so that Jessie tells the story of why her experience volunteering with Special Olympics was so fulfilling and how her attitude has changed about people with intellectual disabilities because of Special Olympics.

11 Special Olympics How We Want To Tell Our Story 11 Make the story useful, provide value. We know Special Olympics makes people feel good. But once Jessie leaves the local Summer Games where she volunteered, what value has been added to her life? Feeling good is great, but what if Jessie was able to share that after her experience with Special Olympics she reflected on her own life and was inspired by the determination of our athletes to work harder going into her senior year and she rose her GPA from a 2.7 to a 3.5 which helped her get into a college that she never would have otherwise. That’s valuable.

12 Special Olympics How We Want To Tell Our Story 12 End with a “call to action.” Unlike Harry Potter, our stories don’t wrap up with “the end” or a “happily ever after.” Our purpose in storytelling is to raise awareness, raise engagement and raise funds. We need a call to action. These can vary based on audience, medium, and current events relevant to our work, but the critical part is to clearly leave the “reader” (who becomes a character of another kind) with an idea of what they can do with what they learned in the story.

13 Special Olympics Different Media 13 Telling a story on YouTube is different than telling a story on Facebook is different than telling a story on Twitter is different than telling a story on a blog. It’s all different than an e-book, and a paper book, etc. The different types of media make the storytelling a different experience. Think of how you’d do an audio interview versus a video interview. Think of what comes from writing clear and useful prose versus having a video experience. See how it’s all different? Be sure to pick the right medium for the job:  Audio is intimate.  Video is expressive and illustrative.  Text is faster to read than audio or video is to consume, easier to transfer, and simpler to produce.

14 Special Olympics Experiment 14 The best way to start learning about storytelling is to practice. Think up storylines. Think of the experiences you’ve had and the people you know and look at them in the framework above to see what resonates with you. Think about your experience and what value you could provide to someone outside the Movement that would lead them to engage with Special Olympics and want to share your story with their friends, family, networks.

15 Special Olympics The Elevator Pitch 15 One theory of communication says everyone in a business, or Movement in our case, should have the same elevator pitch about what we do so we can all memorize it and communicate a similar message about what we do. But that’s not very fun, it’s rarely authentic and it probably just doesn’t make a good story. Stories are engaging because they are personal and they resonate with you emotionally. The logic of human nature would suggest that a wide range of experiences lead to a wide range of emotionally resonant stories and it’s better to embrace the individuality of hundreds of stories that all speak to the power of our Movement. These stories make the best elevator pitches about Special Olympics.

16 Special Olympics The Elevator Pitch 16 No doubt you’ve had some experience with Special Olympics that you find yourself sharing with others regularly or that you find you can’t help but laugh, smile, cry or cheer about. Turning them into an elevator pitch is easy, just think through the what, where, when something happened, who the key players were, why it impacted you and how it impacted your work and life. Measure your story against our brand promise and attributes to make sure it aligns. Tweak your story, or choose the right one from a reserve of a few stories, based on who is in the elevator with you. Hit the “UP” button.

17 Special Olympics Sample Stories 17 It’s easy to talk about stories, but what do good ones look like? In the next few slides we’d like to simply provide some examples of good storytelling around Special Olympics. As you consume the stories, think about what you are seeing from the standpoint of a storyteller. Remember our early slide quick tips? * Does the story tell? Or show? * Does it talk to someone, about someone? * Do the characters speak? * Does the story stir your emotions? * Does it have a moment of truth? * Does it have a clear meaning? It might even help to watch or read them a couple of times to focus on different aspects of storytelling. Think about it from an audience perspective. * What did I feel? * What do I remember? * What was the critical moment in the story?

18 Special Olympics Sample Stories 18

19 Special Olympics Sample Stories 19

20 Special Olympics Sample Stories 20

21 Special Olympics Sample Stories 21

22 Special Olympics Sample Stories 22 While these were all examples of video storytelling, do you think they all met the standards of great, powerful storytelling for Special Olympics? Why or why not? We chose these three videos because despite using the same medium, they all provide different examples of ways to tell a great story under various circumstances. The “Speechless” PSA was a professionally produced piece of work with a Program working in conjunction with a supportive production company. Loretta’s story was simply a Flip Cam “interview” that was much more than a Q&A, it very clearly told her story highlighting the impact and role of Special Olympics in her life’s story. The Attitude Pictures story on Kwon Bong Chun is a great example of telling a story when working with a media partner as well as leveraging a major event in order to tell the story of our athletes. Molly’s P&G ad was a great example of how to work with a partner in telling our story. Though in a perfect world, we’d have liked to see a strong call to action at the end. Nonetheless the power of the story is evident.

23 Special Olympics An Exercise in Visual Storytelling 23 Now let’s conduct an exercise. Many of our Programs use social media to engage and activate our constituents. It’s a great vehicle for storytelling. We believe that social media is the easiest way to tell our story to the most number of people at the least amount of cost. Using pictures with a few words of captioning is the most powerful way to help tell our story quickly to the most number of people. So here’s the exercise. While applying all of our storytelling filters and knowledge to this point, our goal is to choose compelling pictures for Facebook that are athlete centric and demonstrate a core attributes like fun, courage, determination or skill. In the following slides, simply answer A or B according to which picture and caption best accomplishes this goal while conveying the story of Special Olympics that we want the public to consume.

24 Special Olympics Picking the Right Content 24 Need a little inspiration today? Be a fan and join us in cheering on Terrance! When is the last time you had that look of determination in striving to be your best? We see it in our athletes every day. Great job Joey! A B

25 Special Olympics Messaging is Critical 25 It is critical that the messaging that accompanies a picture is on target to most effectively tell the Special Olympics story. Which picture and caption below best conveys our story? At our State Games today we awarded 35 gold medals! Check out this great picture of Rhonda Johnson earning hers in the triple jump! When Rhonda Johnson was born, the doctor told her parents she’d never walk or run. Today, she’s a gold medalist in the triple jump! A B

26 Special Olympics Engage the Fans 26 While much of our content is athlete centric, we also like to regularly engage our fans to help tell the Special Olympics story as they live it every day. Which picture and caption below best conveys our story through fan engagement? Fill in the blank: “The last time I volunteered at Special Olympics I felt ______________” The biggest surprise of volunteering at Special Olympics is you feel like you got more than you gave. LIKE if you agree! AB

27 Special Olympics Visual Storytelling Exercise ANSWERS 27 In the first exercise, “Picking the Right Content” our choice was “B”. While the messaging was fine in “A,” it was a little passive but we can live with that. The larger issue for us with “A” was that it would be easy to come across a bit condescending to our athletes with the cheering on the track itself, not to mention our sports folks would go nuts if the athlete wasn’t DQ’d! So all in all, probably not our ideal story to tell the public. Where in “B” the messaging directly engages the reader by asking about them, and it also uses the athlete’s name (Joey), to tell the story about someone, to someone. Plus, what a great photo! In the second exercise, “Messaging is Critical” our choice was “B”. Neither option here is bad. Our preference is “B” because it tells the broader story of the impact of Special Olympics in Rhonda’s life. That’s a story that transcends the time and place mentioned in “A” of a singular State Games. So “A” is good, but we feel “B” is better. In the third exercise, “Engage the Fan” we chose “A”. Once again an instance where both options are good. But with the goal being engagement we felt that having our fans fill in the blank connects their emotions to the picture and it also tells us in a straw poll how people feel about Special Olympics, in their own words. That’s valuable information to have. The one good thing about “B” is that it is a very easy ask to just “like” something so a lot of people would engage with that action. But still, we feel the best option is the deeper emotional connection of sharing a feeling by “filling in the blank.”

28 Special Olympics Thank You! 28 We hope this Storytelling for Special Olympics Training proves to be a helpful resource. We’d love to hear your feedback, suggestions, comments, thoughts or anything else you’d like to share with regard to the training. Please feel free to reach out to us and send those directly to Ryan Eades at THANKS!

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