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A Changemaker’s Guide to Storytelling

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This resource includes a method and guidance for developing and getting comfortable with storytelling to engage your audience and collaborators in your project. It includes an 8 step process to developing and creating a "sticky" story to inspire and persuade others into action. It includes a downloadable guide with examples and tips and tricks as well as a checklist for evaluating your story.

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United States

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Copyrighted-All rights reserved


PDF publication

Web-based resource

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2 reviews for "A Changemaker’s Guide to Storytelling"

  1. This toolkit enables us to address the importance of communication in the implementation of a project, and in this case, a project that brings about social change. Through a guide detailing 8 steps, from building a story to sharing it, the toolkit offered by Ashoka gives us the keys to reach a precisely identified target and thus maximize the impact of the message. While the toolkit is geared towards social innovators, it is easily adaptable to social change projects in both developed and developing countries. The authors provide valuable resources on examples of materials and methods to convey a message (Youtube, Vimeo, Tedx lectures). Another advantage of reading this toolkit is that it provides guidance on how best to address four main actors that a social innovator might encounter: the general public, another innovator, a leader or, an investor.
    By placing itself on the side of a social innovator, this toolkit has the advantage of providing guidelines for structuring and strengthening communication, without changing the substance of the project, which remains at the discretion of the actor in question, leaving a great amount of freedom to the project as such.
    Thus, by referring to concrete examples of projects or platforms supporting the 8 proposed steps, this toolkit acts as a real library from which everyone is free to draw inspiration. It is more suited to new public innovators wishing to increase their audience and visibility, rather than to established state actors.
    Alongside this abundant source of inspiration, the Ashoka teams slip in a few tips and a checklist, in pdf format, giving a good overview of the tasks to be accomplished. This can be very useful for an actor taking his first steps in the field of social innovation.

  2. Sean Currie says:

    This is a short toolkit aimed at self-identified ‘changemakers’ who may benefit from improving their storytelling capability.

    The toolkit is a webpage also available as a PDF. However, I’d recommend users sticking to the webpage because the PDF does not include all the information because the interactive ‘dropdown’ feature is not translated into text.

    In terms of design, the toolkit is very simple and relatively easy to comprehend quickly, if not totally inspiring or attractive. The (sub-)headers are intuitive and guide the reader easily around the page.

    In terms of content, the toolkit is interesting, informative and accessible,. The language is written for anyone to understand. Early on it gives eight steps for any storyteller to use (without further explanation), before explaining why the user should create a story, and then going into more detail on the steps. This order does not seem well-designed for users to follow a process, but rather to draw them into using the guide. That said, the actual content of what is said is informative and actionable. While parts will be illuminating only for readers who are new to the topic, elsewhere the content goes into more detail and directs to detailed resources that will be highly informative for anyone.

    It must be noted that the content is quite outdated, which is most relevant to the parts which discuss digital tools. For example, it recommends using Google+ and Vine (both of which are now defunct) but not TikTok, which could be extremely profitable for reaching certain demographics. This does make one question the extent to which the rest of the content may be outdated for the modern times, but after consideration I would argue most of the advice is relatively timeless (storytelling is surely a practice a humanity, after all), but the reader may consider adapting elements to focus more on highly stimulating, low effort content (for viewers that is) consider how media consumption ha changed over the last 5 years.

    The toolkit suffers from a lack of content-setting. For example, it begins by discussing ‘Ashoka’, which I Googled to find out is a social entrepreneurship organisation in the UK and Ireland. This is part of a lack of context-setting that makes the guide slightly confusing at first – it appears designed for users who have come to the toolkit already knowing the context, rather than people who get to it from the Toolkit Navigator.

    The toolkit could also be improved by giving inspirational and relatable examples. For example, this could be one example that is returned to throughout, or many different examples for diversity. Without this, readers may be unsure whether certain parts are applicable to certain situations.

    Overall, this toolkit is a useful toolkit for people who wish to improve their storytelling skills. While anyone may benefit from it, the content is most useful for the less experienced, though the extensive and catalogues list of resources can surely provide great insight for anyone, adaptable to the experience, context, and aims of the user.

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