Tips for Effective Recovery Storytelling

Telling Your Recovery Story > What Makes a Good Story? > Tips for Effective Recovery Storytelling

With over 10,000 people trained in using the Faces & Voices of Recovery messaging, and years of research on the power of story to eliminate stigma, we’ve identified some tips to keep in mind when creating and telling your story in the context of advocacy and public awareness. ​

  • Tell a story that can build empathy. Remember, our aim is to change hearts and minds.​
  • Remember that this is a recovery story. Keep the central focus on recovery not on active addiction​.
  • Start with something familiar. ​
  • Start with curiosity. You want to be engaging and make people curious about who you are and what recovery is all about. Is there some way to solve the issue you are passionate about? ​
  • Meet the audience where they are. Ground your story in what they know is familiar and important. You can’t just give the audience what you think is important. Help them reframe how they think about it. ​
  • Remember to use pauses, facial expressions, and infliction. ​
  • Why should they listen? What’s important to them? ​
  • Recognize the opposition up front. There may be times when your advocacy conflicts with other’s positions. Nevertheless, your story needs to be heard.​
  • Address doubts.​
  • And pace yourself. Cover your key points but don’t rush it.