This FREE course is designed to help grassroots groups understand the basics of powerful storytelling to change hearts and minds and specifically to win over “moveable middle” audiences. It can support groups looking for skills on how to structure a story and how to connect a narrative to the emotions, values and life lessons of a group’s target audience.
The course includes… the importance of story, how stories are structured, relatability of stories, identifying key story elements (conflict, choice, life lessons), choosing the right messenger, writing a story and delivering your story.
Quick link to access the free course HERE
Where this resource comes from
This resource was developed by SOGI (Sexual Orientation and Gender Identities) campaigns, a global resource hub for creative campaigners, particularly those advocating for the rights of LGBTQIAS+ identities. The support structure aims to uplift, train and skill up grassroots activists around the world who identify as Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals and Transgender people, and all who don’t fit into mainstream representations of what “makes” a man or a woman, including Queers, Intersex people, and people labelled by their own cultural codes (Indian “Hijras”, Thai “Katoeys”, etc.). Also included are “straight” people who feel oppressed by rigid gender representations.
The collective involves hundreds of activists worldwide.
This course is a compilation of many experiences from around the globe. It also taps into theoretical knowledge from the field of social psychology. The content was compiled by Joel Bedos, the main facilitator of the SOGI campaign’s project.
Purpose, learning objectives and relevance
This resource is intended for either individual activists or grassroots activist groups that want to use advocacy communications strategies effectively to advance their cause.
The resource intends to spark the following outcomes:
- Understand how to structure a story
- Connect your narrative to the emotions, values and life lessons of your audience
- Identify what makes a convincing messenger for your particular story
- Identify which messenger is best suited to deliver your message
- Explore innovative forms of storytelling
Format and delivery
This resource is currently presented in interactive course format on the SOGI campaigns website. It includes exercises, reflection prompts, videos, visuals and a note-taking tool.
- Lesson 1 – Why Tell Stories?
- Lesson 2 – How is a story structured?
- Lesson 3 – Is the story relatable?
- Lesson 4 – Does the story contain conflict and choice?
- Lesson 5 – Does the story tell life lessons?
- Lesson 6 – The messenger
- Lesson 7 – Now write your Story
- Lesson 8 – In what shape will your story come?
Suggestions for reviewing and processing knowledge
- Complete the course and take what’s relevant back to a group or assign for group members to complete individually
- Draw direction from the course and hold a group brainstorming discussion. For example, use some of the course activities or content to guide discussion prompts such as:
- What are the values they want to communicate?
- What are the internal and external conflicts in their story? What is/are the solutions?
- What is the lesson they want people to take away from their story?
- Who is the hero of the story, and how will the target group relate to them?
- Who would be a good (knowledgeable, likable, trustworthy) messenger to convey their story?
Estimated time to complete: The minimum expected learning time is 1 hour. An adequate review that includes engaging in the deep dive sections is expected to take approximately 2 hours. Group discussion time may vary.
*Note that the course can be started and paused and then picked up where it’s left off… it does not need to be completed all at once!
- Individual or group review + discussion of how to apply course content to the context of the group learning from this
- Trying to model some chosen best practices in the course and running an action plan workshop for the group based on them. The goal is to come up with a story that contains a story structure (objective, hero, time and place, conflict and challenge and ending), emotions, values, life lessons, a strong messenger and to determine how the story will be told.
- ‘Learning circle’ with other grassroots groups that have strong messaging in the region where the learning group is situated. Checking for local resonance and hearing what new ideas and tactics are shared in from participating groups
- Checking back in after a couple months’ worth of testing the ideas in real life and doing a rundown of what worked well and what didn’t as a group
- Facilitated check-in in after a couple months’ of testing the ideas in real life; discuss what worked well and what didn’t as a group
- Experienced organizing coaches can examine feedback and ‘diagnose’ problems and provide suggested fixes based on group experiences
Access the Course
One-time registration is required to access the course. Registration is quick, easy and FREE! All that’s needed is your email, a username and password. Once you are registered, you can enroll for all other SOGI courses with a simple click!
Register and take the course for FREE HERE