Powerful storytelling can have a profound impact on the success of a school district, and it will improve the lives of students, teachers, and the community as a whole. So how can you ensure you have the necessary skills to convey storytelling as a leader?
Veronica V. Sopher is a dynamic school communications leader with over 20 years of experience in K-12 leadership, and has served as the Chief Communications Officer for several large and mid-sized school districts. Sopher provides leadership, vision, direction, and execution of major district communication programs, strategies, events, and activities.
She believes in the power of self-care and its dynamic impact on customer service, leadership development, and team building, especially in grades K-12. Sopher explains exactly how to achieve your leadership goals in her informative course, The Power of Storytelling for Leaders.
1. Identify the Problem
The first step requires identifying a specific problem that you want to solve. Sopher recommends starting with the end in mind so that you can reverse-engineer the story to achieve your powerful storytelling strategy. Once you identify the problem, you’ll be ready to tackle the rest of the process toward achieving your unique goals.
2. Know your Audience
Sopher elaborates on how there are internal and external audiences that must be addressed. If you have multiple audiences such as staff and parents, you can always create two different messages targeting each particular one. She recommends going through every step for each audience separately so that you can customize a compelling message for each. This way, you can create opportunities for everyone.
3. Pinpoint a Target Perception
Step three requires you to ask, “What is the current target perception?” For instance, you might be launching a new school program that you want parents to be excited about. Sopher explains, “We want them to think this is going to be a great program, and it’s going to make a world of difference for our students.” Align your message to achieve the desired target perception.
4. Craft your Message
Next, you’ll need to come up with a singular message that creates the desired perception for your target audience. Answer the questions that will frame the story you want to create. What does your target audience value? This message will help promote engagement and ultimately achieve your desired target perception.
5. Know the Key Insights
Step five involves identifying the key insights to help support your message. This will give you a more specific focus on achieving your goals. Sopher describes this process as “how to use certain phrasing and certain words that are going to support that desired perception you want your target audience to have.”
6. Set the Tone
Finally, you’ll want to spend some time reflecting on your overall tone and manner of delivery. Consider the timing of your message as well as what’s appropriate for your particular project and audience. Is it more fitting to be formal or perhaps whimsical and light-hearted? Remember, powerful storytelling will evoke emotions and inspire others, so regardless of what you choose, consistency is key!
Interested in learning more about how you can become a powerful storyteller? Explore the course demo on The Power of Storytelling for Leaders today!