Volunteer firefighter gives valuable life lesson and instruction on effective storytelling

Blog Post created by freddurso Employee on Jul 18, 2016

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Personal stories have a power to them. Just ask any one of NFPA's Faces of Fire, who paint an emotional portrait of loss and survival in the hopes of making fire sprinklers in all new homes a reality. Almost as important as the stories they're telling is how they're telling it.


Sitting in my inbox this morning was an email notification about a new blog post from media professional Brad Phillips. Working closely with the Phoenix Society for Burn Survivors, Phillips has helped safety advocates spread messages on burn injury and prevention, including the importance of home fire sprinklers. The blog post, titled "Two Common Storytelling Mistakes and How to Fix Them," notes the downfalls of (1) failing to include emotion and detail in your story and (2) not connecting your story to the bigger point you're trying to make.

Phillips uses the following video as an example of storytelling done right. Please keep this approach and Phillips' tips in mind as you share your own story. What can you share with the public and your peers that personalizes your pitch for home fire sprinklers? How can you do so in a way that mimics the effectiveness of this firefighter, who captures the emotion and detail of his experience and leads to a bigger point?