Here are the highlights and tidbits I gathered at Richard Krueger’s Using Stories for Evaluation presentation at Program Conference.
- The problem with most Extension stories they are an accumulation of facts rather than stories.
- If told right, stories will tug at the heart making you want to read it again and share with others.
- If the story is about your program, ask a colleague to collect the story. It is easier for someone to talk about you and the impact of your work when you are not present.
- Good stories have repetition.
- Good stories show a cause and effect relationship. Commercials do this well.
- Start a ‘story’ file. A good story builds over time.
- A story has a plot with unfolding action and a resolution. Build in character (names) and a setting. Should have a logical flow. Can be read, said or viewed in 1-2 minutes. Krueger suggests: start with a character (a person’s journey, experience), they have a struggle, obstacle, they need a guide (someone with expertise), the guide/program offers a plan or resources, the person takes action, results end with supporting data, end by saluting the person you helped.
- Make the participant the hero, not you or your program.
- A story is NOT a discussion, description, essay, reports, summary of results or rambling details.
- See Purdue Extension at http://www3.ag.purdue.edu/extension/makingadifference/Pages/story-home.aspx
- More about Dr. Krueger’s work at http://www.tc.umn.edu/~rkrueger/about.html