I splurged on my first car when I was 22. I felt rebellious — buying a car I really wanted, but barely could afford on my entry-level non profit salary. It was a mint green Volkswagen New Beetle manual drive.
I didn’t even know how to operate a stick shift and I wasn’t sure I would be able to drive my new prize off the lot.
I sat parked — heart racing with anticipation. My friend, strapped into the passenger’s seat, patiently instructed me to press in the clutch and shift into first. I turned on the radio. It was set to KUT, Austin’s NPR station. That day, I heard the grinding of gears and my first episode of This American Life.
I wrote this anecdote after watching the first part of Ira Glass’ 4-part interview on storytelling. Compelling storytelling is a superpower non profits must use to engage donors and activists. That’s why I like to challenge myself to practice and hone the craft.
I was inspired to play around and put his advice into practice: How can you tell a relatively boring story in an engaging way? Hint: You start with the action and include some bait.
The video is only 5 minutes and worth a watch. Bonus points if you get inspired to write your own anecdote.