BBC People, Let’s Speak up with Style!
Author: Jessica Luginbuhl
“Bad stories don’t mobilize folks!” exclaimed Amanda, our trainer at the Speak up with Style! Message and Spokesperson Training for Building Blocks Collaborative members. Nestled among the trees of the Trudeau Training Center,* Amanda empowered us to capitalize on any moment to share about BBC whether you find yourself at a fundraiser with politicians, in an elevator with your director, or talking to a local resident during a home visit.
Members from the Alameda County Food Bank, East Bay Regional Parks District, Girls Inc. and a variety of health department staff were in attendance. Folks shared excellent, impromptu, BBC elevator speeches and then the new, fabulous messaging was introduced! Here’s the new speech: “For babies born in Alameda County today, there is a 13-year difference in life expectancy depending on their zip code. We can’t accept that, and we can change it. Building Blocks Collaborative brings together people with the ideas, the connections and the skills we need to create conditions where every child – in every neighborhood – can thrive.”
A few of the pearls of wisdom when thinking about your message included:
1) Talk about what people care about. That means other people, not just you!
2) Brevity trumps precision. Sometimes you can say a lot with just a few words.
3) Values trump features. Share your vision with people—the day-to-day details of how you accomplish it can come late
4) Positive beats negative. Being against things weakens you. Being for things gives you strength.
Folks then tried out their new skills by creating talking points that married their organization’s mission with BBC’s and tried them out with each other.
By the end of the third hour we were all schmoozing at a “Mocktail Party” trying out our new, pithy statements with various faux funders, residents and political staffers. Cheers to a fresh, engaging training!
*Props to Elizabeth Hales of the East Bay Regional Park District for reserving this beautiful space.