Join us. Be the living proof that recovery saves lives. The Power of Our
How to use The Power of Our FORUMS FOR TELLING YOUR STORY
Stories. Organize a training event to Speaking out for
watch the video and practice story tell- Start by talking with one other person or
ing. a small group. As you become more com- Addiction Recovery
fortable and have more practice, expand
You can use the video to demonstrate how your audience. Here are some examples
people are using their stories to speak out. of people to speak to and places to speak
Then create a supportive environment at:
where people can use the Training Video
Worksheet to practice ♦ Neighbors
telling their stories and
speaking out. If you are ♦ Friends
working on a particular
issue campaign, you can ♦ Civic organization meetings
tailor the worksheet ma-
terials to fit that par- ♦ Media
♦ Faith-based meetings
♦ Your city council
• Decide on when the event will be, who
will host it, and who you would like to ♦ Your state legislators
♦ Addiction treatment providers
ll across our country, people are
• Identify a training facilitator. This
person should keep the event on organizing and mobilizing to let
Recovery community organizations research issues, others know about addiction recovery.
schedule and organize the post-
viewing discussion and group exer- strategize about what to ask, and mobilize recovery ad-
cises. vocates. To find a recovery community organization
They are moms and dads, brothers and
near you, go to our website at:
• Publicize your event. Email friends sisters, husbands and wives, and
and coworkers, advertise in your local friends of people who have regained
paper, and create fliers to post. their health and lives through freedom
• Make sure there is a sign-in table and from addiction.
ask a friend to staff it. Have name
Faces & Voices of Recovery
tags, copies of hand-outs, and light 1010 Vermont Avenue NW #708
Washington, D.C. 20005 They are using their stories to come
refreshments. Set up the room so eve-
rybody can watch the video. forward, speak out and stand up for
• Make copies of this brochure and the phone: 202.737.0690
Training Video Worksheet. fax: 202.737.0695
Stories teach and inspire, and empower us to make a better world.
Preparing to Tell your Story. Here are four
techniques to use as you prepare to tell your story. Stories are effective when they
Before you tell your story, here are a few things to are told in a way that says
think about: something about a broader set of
1) Tailor your story to your audience
• Be flexible: Make the story interesting to STORYTELLING TIPS
the specific audience you are speaking to.
• Be engaging: What’s in your story that ♦ Maintain eye contact.
T he Power of Our Stories video is grabs people’s attention?
one part of our national cam- • Be credible: Make sure that your story has ♦ Think about how you are sitting or
paign to broaden understanding characters and situations that people can standing and ask yourself what your
and increase support for people in relate to. body language is communicating.
or seeking recovery from addiction
2) Make sure you “hit your mark” ♦ Think about how you are dressed and
to alcohol or other drugs.
• Be concise and relevant: Get rid of extrane- how you look.
n 2004 Faces & Voices held trainings on the
power of story and organizing in the recovery • Be explicit and to the point: Restate your ♦ Speak conversationally.
point a few times.
community, based on the Recovery
Association Project (www.rap-nw.org) • Use research and information: Give spe- ♦ Paint a picture with words.
cific facts and provide examples to get your
in Portland, Oregon’s model. This video shows one
message across. ♦ Use terms and language that every-
piece of that training – practicing telling your story.
body would be familiar with. Avoid
3) Include the “ask” of what you want them to do
O ur stories help break down the myths and
stereotypes that keep people from getting the
help they need. Our stories have the power to
and let them know what’s in it for them
• Be specific: Make sure the person under- ♦
jargon and acronyms.
Use note cards to jot down some
stands what you want them to do.
change public attitudes and policies. Telling your • Explain “What’s in it for me:” Let the per-
talking points and to help be sure
story effectively takes practice. Groups of people or son know what they are going to get by do- you’ve covered everything.
individuals can use the video to hone their story- ing what you are asking.
4) Make the connection
Y our story can be far more engaging than even a
famous expert because you are the expert.
When it comes to addiction recovery
• Build a relationship: Use your research to
make a personal connection with the person M y vision is that everyone everywhere
has access to vast and varied
you are speaking to.
and the barriers that people face who • Describe the “big picture:” Explain why you
recovery support services; that no one feels
are seeking recovery, you, as a person are a recovery advocate; share your vision the ongoing desolation of this disease; that
in recovery or family member, have of a recovered community. those who have suffered no longer live
lived it. • Explain the consequences: Make a connec- behind a veil of stigma, but rather they feel
tion between what you are asking for and society’s admiration and appreciation for
T hrough storytelling, we learn to
respect others’ points of view
and gain empathy for each other. Our combined
how it will affect that individual. the struggle and courage it takes for them to
live a life reclaimed from darkness.
stories can teach, inspire, and make a difference.