Tell me a story Want to engage your admissions, alumni, or donor audiences? Learn how to tell them a good story. People want to imagine themselves on campus, to connect with others, and to be inspired. Here are some pointers to keep in mind as you settle down to write:

1. Have a single message.
2. Write about a single event, not about the time in a person’s life.
3. Be frugal with words.
4. Create a sense of anticipation. Make the reader wonder what’s next.
5. Use words to paint vivid pictures.
6. Change something in the reader’s mind—perhaps a perception, or the direction of the story.
7. Be ruthless in purging cliché and lazy phrasing from your drafts. This helps to avoid flatness of tone.
8. Keep a copy of William Zinsser’s On Writing Well near your desk. Flip through it whenever your words feel clumsy.

Contributed by Brenda

While you’re in the storytelling mode, check out Nancy Duarte’s wonderful Tedx talk on using storytelling to create compelling presentations.