Stories are the ultimate teaching tool. They entertain us while also helping us understand complex and nuanced information quickly. Most importantly, they can help us communicate the value Extension provides in Minnesota.
How can you identify stories to help describe your Extension work?
1. Find the problem and solution. Stories usually start with a problem/obstacle or something unexpected. They are followed by an "aha!" or a turning point--usually a solution provided by your programming.
2. Look in the everyday. Sometimes we don't recognize our own stories because we think "I'm just doing my job." Step back and remember Extension has a unique and powerful role in our state, and you are doing important work! There is a story to be told. Start with the cousins of stories--examples or anecdotes--and build from there.
3. Practice. Remember you are already telling stories in your everyday life, so start to notice them in all their forms and use them to communicate the value of your Extension programming.
In Extension, pairing stories with evaluation numbers helps us communicate our value.
-Maggie Frazier, writer/editor