Q&A with Author & Workshop Trainer John Capecci

"How to Tell Your Story" workshop trainer John Capecci

Our workshops this Fall season cover a range of communications topics – from how to grab legend media’s attention to effective online community engagement.

This month trainer John Capecci will be co-presenting a workshop on storytelling on Thursday, October 25th for individuals and organizations that want to tell more compelling stories about the causes or work they do. We caught up with John to find out why storytelling is such a powerful tool to move people to action.


Q. Why is personal storytelling such an important skill to have when advocating for a cause?
A. When we share our personal stories and experiences, we have the potential to connect others to our mission in ways other forms of communication cannot. It’s not the only way we advocate for our cause, but it is how we make our messages personally meaningful to others. All of us, at some point, are called upon to personalize our commitment to a cause—whether that means telling a personal story at a public event, or simply answering a family member’s question: “Why do you spend so much time working for …?” When we answer with a personal story, we have a chance to illuminate, engage, educate, motivate and connect in a uniquely human way.

Q. What are some of the roadblocks people encounter when trying to tell their story?
A. Here are some of the most common challenges Tim and I have encountered among advocates: Deciding what and how much of the story to tell. Not believing their story is valuable. Knowing how best to prepare. Fitting the story into various time and media formats. Delivering both an engaging story and compelling messages.

Q. How will individuals / nonprofit communicators be impacted by your workshop? A. Our workshops are geared toward providing communicators tools that are immediately applicable and provide ongoing assistance. We aim to expand the idea of what an advocacy story is and to help individuals and organizations find the stories that may be hiding and untapped. We provide a framework to ensure stories are intentional and focused on advocacy goals.

Q. How has storytelling impacted you and the work you do?
A. We are both humbled and honored to be part of the “support staff” for so many individuals and organizations who are doing amazing, good work in the world with their stories.

John Capecci is an experienced speaker, coach, writer and educator. John Capecci, Ph.D., launched Capecci Communications in 1996 and has provided custom training programs, consulting and writing services to a wide variety of individuals and organizations. He has published on the subjects of personal narrative and advocacy, is co-editor of a best-selling series of monologue anthologies and co-author of Living Proof: Telling Your Stories to Make a Difference. His clients include health professionals, arts educators, advocates, designers, senior executives, non-profits and marketing/PR agencies. Located in Minneapolis, Capecci Communications draws upon a nationwide network of communication professionals.

ChicagoStories.org: The Intellectual Crossroads

The Nanoscience High-Performance Computing Facility at Argonne National Laboratory (Image: ANL CC by/sa)

Read our latest story on ChicagoStories.org, a website which offers briefing papers and source lists to journalists visiting Chicago for the NATO Summit who are interested in connecting with local stories.

Chicago was not exactly an academic hothouse in 1890, though it was a place of wonderment to much of the world, having grown from a muddy frontier outpost of 30,000 souls in 1850 to a bustling metropolis of 1.1 million four decades years later. Its streets were lined with the world’s first skyscrapers. Its raucous sidewalks were filled with dreamers, visionaries, opportunists, and fast-buck artists from all corners of the globe. Though quiet, scholarly and pious, Harper fit right in this boisterous scene, with his outsized ambition and determination to found a great institution.

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