The Art of Persuasive Storytelling: How to Make Your Audience Care

1. Overview
There’s never before been so much competition for your audience’s attention– so how do you make sure your message gets through? It’s not enough to just get noticed, you have be heard and understood in order to make an impact. Studies show that people don’t just want facts and data, they want something they can connect to and find personal meaning in if they’re going to pay attention. Persuasive storytelling is the art of using a compelling narrative to convince your audience of your point of view. Whether you want them to engage with your organisation, support your cause, take action or simply change their mind, creating a story they care about is a powerful tool to persuade them. This workshop will show you how to do it.

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2. Benefits of attending
This interactive workshop goes beyond the theory of “why storytelling is important” and provides a step-by-step guide to developing a compelling story that not only captivates your audience, but actually moves them to take action. Combining principles of communications, marketing and sales, the workshop will give you the framework you need to effectively tell your organization’s story. Because a story should never be boring, break-out sessions, case studies and group discussion will ensure the day is both informative and engaging.

In this workshop, you will:
● Understand what makes a story persuasive (hint: it’s not just about appealing to emotions.)
● Learn the five elements your story needs to compel your audience
● Discover the mistake many organizations make that keeps their audience from caring, and learn how to avoid it
● Explore examples of persuasive storytelling in a variety of communications channels: websites, videos, brochures, etc.
● Apply what you learn to your own communications campaigns

3. Course outline
Persuasive Storytelling: What it is and why you need it
Before we can learn how to use storytelling to persuade an audience, we need to understand what makes a story persuasive. This introduction will explore the proven power of storytelling and explain why it should be at the heart of every communications campaign.

What Makes a Story Compelling: How to captivate– and convince– your audience
To convince your audience to take action, you first need to capture their attention and keep it on your message. In this section, we’ll explore how to rise above the noise to reach your audience, and then make them care about what you have to say.

How to Tell A Story: The 5 elements every story needs
We’ve been hearing, watching and reading stories our whole lives. In this section, we’ll look at how the traditional elements of a good story apply to professional communications. We’ll learn the five elements every persuasive story needs, and find out which one most organizations get wrong.

Putting It All Together: Applying the strategies of persuasive storytelling to your campaigns
While the entire workshop will be both interactive and actionable, this section will provide an opportunity for participants to share how they plan to use what they’ve learned and get feedback from the group. Using worksheets with prompts and exercises, as well as partner work and group discussions, participants will have the opportunity to plan out and test the different elements of their story to use in their own communications campaigns.

4. About the trainer:
Elissa Bertot is a communications strategist and copywriter who helps organizations tell stories that inspire action. With more than a decade of experience in PR, corporate communications and marketing, she is now an independent consultant for public-private partnerships, helping international organizations create content that engages the p
rivate sector. She also uses her expertise to help small businesses and start-ups create authentic brands and unique positioning through her branding company, Favor the Bold Communications.

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