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Living Proof: Telling Your Story to Make a Difference - Essential Skills for Advocates and Spokespersons Paperback – March 22, 2012


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 212 pages
  • Publisher: Granville Circle Press; 1st edition (March 22, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0983870306
  • ISBN-13: 978-0983870302
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 5.9 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #226,897 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

''If we're going to make change, we re going to have to tell our stories and tell them effectively. This book shows us how.'' -- Paul Loeb, author, Soul of a Citizen

''Everyone's talking about the power of stories these days but we need more resources to help advocates, activists and nonprofit communicators find their own voices, get heard and win real change. Living Proof is a sourcebook for trainers and advocates alike that fills that need. It's full of hands-on exercises, good ideas and useful suggestions.'' -- Gordon Mayer, National People's Action

''The principles of rhetoric are translated here into contemporary language to make them accessible to anyone who wants to persuade through storytelling. This book provides instructions, examples, and exercises to make your stories come alive. A superb guide.'' -- --Dr. Sonja K. Foss, University of Colorado Denver, author, Contemporary Perspectives on Rhetoric and Inviting Transformation: Presentational Speaking for a Changing World

Smart, well-delivered and timely advice to help advocates and spokespeople tell the most effective stories.

Stories seem to be what consumers crave, particularly if they are heartfelt and authentic; storytelling is responsible for hit reality-television shows, wildly popular brands and carefully packaged politicians, among other things. But stories can also be useful for nonprofit organizations when ordinary people with extraordinary stories are employed as leading advocates for the cause. As authentic as an advocate's story may be, however, it can always be improved in style and delivery; that's the mission of this exceptional instructional guide. The authors carefully lead storytellers through examples and exercises to show how to make content more compelling and relevant to the audiences speakers are trying to influence. The authors present many engaging techniques, such as asking advocates to describe their mission in just six words and demonstrating how to create a visual ''story map'' to document one's experience. Capecci and Cage convey ''the five qualities of effective advocacy stories,'' discuss how to develop key messages, and explain how to craft a story and deliver powerful presentations. They also offer advice for how to ace media interviews; the helpful tips and prep sheets they include will make any reader feel more confident in front of a reporter. The book is divided into easy-to-digest chapters, replete with numerous sidebars, graphics and charts. The convenient format makes it possible for readers to move quickly from start to finish or to pick out chapters that target areas of particular interest. All the while, Capecci and Cage weave into the text actual stories told by advocates, so readers gain a full appreciation for the power of storytelling.

Highly readable, this engaging manual never veers from its focus of providing the basic skills one needs to tell a story that can truly make a difference. --Kirkus Review, March 2012

From the Author

Your story can make a difference. We offer Living Proof as a guide. Advocate for the people and causes important to you, employing the single most powerful tool only you have--your personal story.


John Capecci and Tim Cage

More About the Authors

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Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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It's an easy read- I read it in 3 short sittings- then I re-read it several times over again.
Amazon Customer
Well, Capecci and Cage hooked me with the very first sentence of this well-written, infinitely accessible and comfortably usable guidebook.
Heather Beal
All of us have a story to tell, and those stories can help bring about positive change in the world.
Kristin Brumm

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Heather Beal on March 14, 2012
Format: Paperback
Have you heard the phrase "you had me at hello?" Well, Capecci and Cage hooked me with the very first sentence of this well-written, infinitely accessible and comfortably usable guidebook. They did this by walking the walk. Instead of overwhelming me with statistics and a long, bulleted list of "action items," they started by sharing a story that demonstrates how persuasive an advocate's personal, authentic, plainspoken prose can be. They compelled me to read on and I'm glad I did. Living Proof provides the ideal blend of real-life examples, expert advice, and practical tools to help people from all backgrounds who care deeply about the causes they support to step boldly from the wings to center stage. This book willlive a long and healthy, dog-eared, oft-referenced and quoted shelf-life in my home office.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Amy Whitaker on April 19, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I teach an entrepreneurship course and came across this book as part of a unit on 'how to tell a story.' With information overload of the digital age, I think storytelling is one of the ways of cutting through clutter to communicate purpose in any walk of life.

Opening up the book was a breath of fresh air. Cage and Capecci feel like wise friends talking to you through the pages. And it was easy for me to take ideas framed for cause-related conversations, and understand them more broadly as ways of communicating anyone's personal story and sense of purpose, whether as a job seeker, an entrepreneur, or anyone who is trying to enlist the support of other people in any activity.

This is one of those books that distills a lot of academic expertise into a highly readable, usable, and human format. Even in the process of teaching this book, a couple of my colleagues started reading it and found ways to use the ideas in their own lives.

We live in a storytelling age, and this book is a really helpful -- and enjoyable -- tool for telling stories better.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Mountain Mama on April 14, 2012
Format: Paperback
We all have a story buried within us. Whether we want to change the world, or allow friends and family into the world which makes us tick, Living Proof guides the reader step by step.

Capecci and Cage take the no nonsense approach with teaching "story-telling." Before I read Living Proof, I thought I knew how to get my message across-- I was wrong. From finding the story, to molding it into a piece of work to captivate any audience, as a reader you will learn each step, until you feel comfortable speaking from the heart.

Story-telling takes time and skill, but with Living Proof, Capecci and Cage have provided an easy to read guide that anyone can comprehend. I wouldn't be surprised if one day, Living Proof became required reading in upper level high school and college speech and public relations courses.

Take a leap of Faith. Read the book and tell your story.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Robert Lebans (Consultant, Toronto, Ontario, Canada) on April 11, 2012
Format: Paperback
Don't allow this practical manual on essential skills for Advocates and Spokespersons to stop you from exploring its valuable strategies for articulating deeply held values and shaping personal stories, particularly if you are a leader or consultant. As leaders and consultants we all tell stories that we hope will move audiences to action, and we can all benefit from the essential skills that are honed in this text. Living Proof is a treasure trove of strategies that can be used in leadership seminars and workshops, whether we are leaders or participants, and in interviews, whether we are seeking to convey just who we are, what we believe, and how much we have to offer, or employers looking for integrity, sincerity, and commitment.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Corina Fastwolf on April 7, 2012
Format: Paperback
I'm a librarian, and I want to give a shout-out for this book, for business, nonprofits and for public library purchase, but also for individuals with a cause, be they artists, activists or advocates. The authors' main point is that to advocate for anything, you need to know how to tell your story, in support of your cause or position. Why is this important? Think about all the times on TV, Facebook, YouTube, the news, and in entertainment where people tell their stories. We glaze over when we hear dry facts; but when the story begins, our ears perk up. It's part of how humans are wired; we connect deeply to stories. They're one of the fundamental ways of communicating, which makes them essential for success in fundraising, promotion and business.

But where can you get trained in how to tell your story? And how do you make sure your story conveys the message you want your audience to hear? That's what this book does for you. What I liked was that it covers both how to hone your story, (building it up from the message it tells), while also coaching you on the skills you need to present your story- everything from how to dress for media to public speaking tips.

As non-profits, businesses and small businesses are forced to re-image themselves for a virtual world, telling their stories is of prime importance. Whether you turn to this volume for some quick advice, or use it to coach you through the entire process, you'll come away smarter at how your story can help you advocate towards your goal.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on April 6, 2012
Format: Paperback
If you are someone who has a story to tell and you have not been able to muster the courage to do it, or if you have tried and felt that you weren't successful, this will have a positive impact on your ability to do so. As someone who has needed a book like this to help guide their thought process and produce a clearer message, I wish we this would've been available a few years ago.

It's an easy read- I read it in 3 short sittings- then I re-read it several times over again. A very helpful book for people who have to or feel compelled to create change with their words and their story.
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