As a storytelling policy practitioner...

you breathe life into information in an adapted manner in order to inform the public and engage or support the decision-making process.

Why is this important?

  • To provide, through storytelling, references and links enabling the people who receive the information to place it in a wider context and better understand it.
  • To convey powerful and engaging messages.
  • To make an emotional connection and encourage people to take action.
  • To make facts, situations and numbers tangible and make it easier to remember them.
  • To draw attention and inspire action in the stakeholders and teams.  

What new avenues does this skill open?

  • Engaging in constructive conversations with the public and maintaining dialogue.
  • Relying on relevant examples to make yourself better understood.
  • Sharing various perspectives.
  • Informing and influencing.
  • Creating common ground or a space for common understanding between the people involved.
  • Responding in a forceful manner to the needs of people.
  • Leading people to take action and change their behaviour.
  • Encouraging empathy. 

Without this skill, what obstacles present themselves?

  • Risk of making people go back to their original conclusions and thereby creating confusion.
  • Comprehension becomes more difficult, forcing the target audience to work harder to understand the message.
  • Bad message retention.
  • Risk of not getting the desired behaviour from the target audience.
  • Lack of engagement in terms of the needs of Canadians.
  • Errors in terms of the effects of policies and the initiatives taken with the target audience.
  • Risk of undermining the relationship with Canadians, who could feel excluded due to a lack of understanding.
  • Risk of not taking into account the complexity of a situation, the nuances it implies and the concrete repercussions on the lives of Canadians.
  • Confusion regarding the requests formulated and the options proposed due to exchanges that are chaotic, inconsistent and devoid of any real meaning, with no common understanding.  

Examples of behaviours and aptitudes to be adopted

  • Breathing life into an idea in a simple manner.
  • Reconciling various perspectives to effectively communicate complex ideas.
  • Conveying clear and convincing messages, adapted to the established objects and the target audience.
  • Communicating the message in a clear manner so that Canadians do not have to guess the intention.
  • Preparing the story by reflecting on questions from the target audience and the answers that need to be provided.
  • Ask yourself: “What information do Canadians need to make an informed decision?” 
  • Having the organizational and contextualized knowledge to communicate information in a manner that is understandable to the public.
  • Enhancing the credibility of the idea by establishing links between the data and illustrating the content through examples.
  • Compiling the information so as to present it in a reliable and meaningful manner.
  • Basing the information on basic principles and focusing on key messages.
  • Preparing the basic information making it possible to understand the context.
  • Focusing on the message being disseminated rather than the form and presentation. 

Examples of behaviours to be avoided

  • Solely presenting numbers and charts.
  • Focusing on PowerPoint presentations to the detriment of the clarity, relevance and quality of the content.
  • Only using a single story, obscuring the complexity and compromising proper understanding.
  • Working alone and ignoring the various points of view and contributions of the various stakeholders.
  • Not taking into account the life experience of Canadians and the people you are addressing and failing to provide concrete examples.
  • Communicating in the same manner, regardless of the situation and the target audience.
  • Communicating facts and conveying messages devoid of any emotion.
  • Overusing emotions, potentially undermining confidence in the thoroughness of the analysis of the issues being addressed.