Saturday, May 19, 2012

Storytelling: The Yellow Purse Story

In a one hour speech, people will remember a one minute story.  Here are some good ways to help them remember:

1.  Be brief but compelling

2.  Have the story character overcome a challenge: build in tension or conflict to keep her interest.

3.  Help her use her imagination by providing details.

4.  Help her think, "She's just like me."

5.  End with her wanting to support the cause.

The following Yellow Purse Story says and does it all.

Jill was the woman who was the catalyst behind the fledgling donor group and when it was her turn to speak she had a pedestal in front of her with a fairly large yellow purse setting on it.  Jill said, “I bought the purse last summer because I really wanted it – It was kind of expensive, I didn’t need it and, to be honest, I carried it for about a week before I realized it’s really too big, too heavy and doesn’t go with much.  Since then, it’s been on the shelf in my closet.”

She went on to say, “I keep it there for a reason.  To me it’s become a symbol of all I have – and all the things I have that I really don’t need.  It’s a symbol of the material possessions that I have purchased that I could really live without.  In fact, I bet we all have that purse, that pair of shoes, that coat or that piece of jewelry.

When I open my closet each day, I see the purse and I‘m reminded of the things I’ve spent money on and regretted later.  I’m also reminded that I’ve never regretted any money I have given to charity.  I know that each time I give, the charity is helping someone who needs something much more important than a big, heavy, yellow purse. That purse has real power.

She concluded by saying, “I ask you all today to change the power of the purse from the negative to the positive.  Let’s remember that we can be the most generous person we know with just what we have.”

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