7 Tips on Winning Awards – Tip #4

July 12th, 2011

Tell a good story.

Yep. Weave a tale. Beginning, middle, end. Drama in between.

If you’re going for an award, that means (ostensibly) that you did something important. And if it really was important, then the story should be fairly simple to tell.

The straightforward formula:

1. Problem: Things were bad. They were really bad. Or, depending on the situation, things were pretty good…but there was an opportunity to make them even better.

2. Solution: Here’s the brilliant thing we did and how we came up with it and made it work.

3. Outcome: Now we prove that we made a difference – a big difference – using metrics. No metrics? No award (pretty much).

It’s the formula for every case study, and it should be the formula for every successful award submission.

Some more tips:

-Use big adjectives: Exceptional, exciting, outstanding, extraordinary. If you don’t burst with enthusiasm, why will the judge?

-Include details: They bring a story alive, and help to support your narrative (i.e. we did something important).

-Be saucy: OK, maybe not saucy, but definitely not boring. Judges have many, many submissions to read and if you keep them entertained, they’ll like you.

-Don’t be afraid to use humor: A judge who’s just read 15 long applications will see yours very favorably if you make her laugh.

And now for some advice from a real master: check out this video series on storytelling from Ira Glass of This American Life.


More tips!

Tip #3: Start Early

Tip #2: Read the Question

Tip #1: Know Who You’re Talking To







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