''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