Why we Tell Stories

Oct4Are you missing the Olympics yet? One of the best aspects of the two-week sporting bonanza is the storytelling. NBC spends months researching, filming and editing features on the athletes.

Tom Rinaldi does it on a weekly basis for ESPN. His voiceover indicates you’re in for a great story. From heartbreaking to soul lifting, Rinaldi shares incredible stories of players, fans and coaches.

Those stories remind us everyone has a story to tell. And it’s important to share them. Your staff members’ challenge is to get people talking, relating their unique experiences, situations, histories, challenges and triumphs.

As you seek out new stories to tell:

  • Encourage your staff to talk to students they’ve never met before. Consider sending them out once a week to discover new stories on your campus, not coming back until they’ve met a new person and have a great story to share.
  • Think about what will make their stories interesting and worth reading or watching.
  • Have a beginning, middle and end to the story to draw the reader in and keep them.
  • Include descriptions of specific, memorable moments. Include strong details and colorful quotes.
  • Feature those stories in your yearbook so they’ll be shared and permanently recorded.

 

Need inspiration? Grab some tissue and watch a few of Tom Rinaldi’s features for ESPN: a Game Day story about a sick LSU fan, sportsmanship on the basketball court and the night a basketball manager became the star athlete.