Less Talking, More Storytelling

Less Talking, More Storytelling 

Ditch long boring speeches at fundraising events for real stories that touch hearts and open wallets. One of the most common complaints we hear from guests at fundraisers is that the speeches were too long and boring. We’ve heard this for YEARS. 

What should speakers say? What do they need to focus on before they take the stage at your event? Here are our best tips. 


Who are we + what do we do?

Include a brief reiteration of your mission early in your event script. This educates donors and helps set the stage for them knowing your value and impact.

Why are we here?

What are you doing to better your community? What sets your org apart from the crowd? Tell the crowd your why with succinct, emotional storytelling. Hook them from the word go!

What can we do together?

Remind the room we’re here to raise money to help folks who need it. Tell an emotional but short story about someone who struggled, but through the aid of your org, has survived and thrived, in spite of their difficulties. Reinforce our collective goal by outlining what good you will do or begin doing with their support. They’ll be more likely to feel involved, which in turn makes them more likely to give big.

Make folks feel something

Whatever the story, take your donors on a meaningful journey. Make them laugh. Make them cry. Present the challenges and don’t be afraid to scare them a little, by encouraging empathy (What if they were in the service recipient’s shoes?). Instill hope. Position your org as the agent of change in the story and steady support in the lives of your service recipients. People love to help others, especially when they’re hit right in the feels. 

Keep it short!

The average person’s attention span is only eight seconds long. That’s right. 8 seconds. That’s NOTHING! Our point is, you lose people very quickly if you’re not succinct. Choose every word of your live program wisely. If anyone even BEGINS to ramble, you’ve lost your audience. Every speech that’s delivered on event night should be no more than 2-3 minutes long – unless it’s a keynote speaker. Donors don’t tolerate an ounce of boredom at events they’re paying to attend where they’re being asked for their hard-earned cash. 

Make stories relatable

People have a much easier time paying attention when they feel you’re talking directly to them. Make it personal! Stories about individuals are more memorable, especially when it’s a topic your audience can relate to. Perhaps they too have struggled with similar circumstances, or they know someone who has. Either way, by putting the donor in the front seat, you’re giving them an insider’s view into what your service recipients experience. Allow them to empathize with someone in need. 

Be Funny

Humor is almost always your friend when public speaking. People remember things that make them laugh. And humor, when carefully crafted, can take even the darkest of topics and frame them in a way that allows donors to understand and – there’s that magic word again – EMPATHIZE! Once you’ve got their understanding and their empathy, you’re that much closer to getting their financial support.

Still not sure about storytelling and speechwriting? Let us take care of it for you! Reach out to learn more about our service offerings, including full scriptwriting for your event.