Advocacy 101: Start With a Story

No matter what stage we are in life, there will come a point and time where we will need to advocate for a cause.

It might be for a stop sign at an intersection in a residential area where many children play.  

Maybe there is a nonprofit or medical diagnosis that you are passionate about and want to raise money for.

 Or… 

You could be a parent seeking to create change in your child’s school so all students have access to a quality education.

 The list of examples could go on and on.  

Whatever your cause may be, at some point you will need to communicate with others in some way to get your message across.  

I’ve been contacted on many occasions by parents, caregivers, and even healthcare patient self-advocates who reach out to me about how they can get started getting the word out about their cause. 

While every situation is unique and requires its own strategy, I always recommend starting with storytelling. 

Storytelling is an important part of advocacy.  

Sure, it can be a bit scary at first, but it’s always a story that draws people in as a way to connect and empathize with the point that you are trying to get across.

If you have a story to tell then you are already on the path to becoming a great advocate.

Everyone has a different way of sharing their story, and there is no right or wrong way to go about it. 

Your method will change over time with comfort levels, and that is okay.  

Over the course of the last year, I noticed that I’m getting better at my advocacy skills through speaking to small groups, participating in public speaking contests, and even conferences.  

Do I still get nervous? Absolutely, but I always keep in mind why I am doing it. 

Whatever works for you, go with it. Just get started. 

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