Developing and Sharing Your Personal Story
The most important thing to remember in developing and delivering a message to your legislator is that you have something valuable to contribute. In fact, you are one of the most important people the legislator and her or his staff person will see that day.
Because you are a constituent or you represent the concerns of constituents. Your job as an advocate is not to simply relay as many facts and figures about stroke as you can. Rather, your job is to make stroke and its effects real for the legislator or staff person.
You can achieve that goal by telling a personal story.
There is obviously some reason why you decided to be an advocate for stroke survivor issues. Stroke likely has impacted you directly in a very personal way. Perhaps you are a stroke survivor or a caregiver.
Your personal story is what you need to communicate to your legislators. They will get all the facts, figures and statistics from the briefing documents you share with them. What you bring to the table is a compelling story about how particular policy issues impact people who the legislator represents.
Refer to the next section of this document for a worksheet that will help you develop a strong, concise personal story to share.
Worksheet: Developing Your Personal Story
Take some time to think about the following questions and to weave your answers into a sincere and powerful story to share with legislators and others.
- Why is it important for you to advocate for stroke survivors?
- How has stroke impacted your health or the health of a loved one?
- How has stroke impacted your finances and/or your ability to work?
- How has stroke most profoundly impacted your life – for better or worse?
- What is the most important thing you want others to know about surviving a stroke?