A critical skill for global development professionals: Storytelling

By Catherine Cheney 10 January 2017

The story — from a fast pitch to a media kit to other investments ranging from social media outreach to film production — can make all the difference in goals such as raising funds, attracting investment, mobilizing supporters and bringing new partners on board. Photo by: Seth Doyle

“What’s the one thing that connects education, gender, economic empowerment and water and sanitation? Would you be surprised if I said menstruation?”

That was the opener of a two-minute pitch from Leah Spelman, chief operating officer at Days for Girls International, which is focused on feminine hygiene worldwide.

She was one of six leaders who gave fast pitches to an audience of global health and development professionals at the annual Global Washington conference last month.

Those 12 minutes served as an important reminder of how storytelling can make or break organizations working on sustainable global development no matter how impactful their model.

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About the author

Catherine cheney devex
Catherine Cheneycatherinecheney

Catherine Cheney covers the West Coast global development community for Devex. Since graduating from Yale University, where she earned bachelor's and master's degrees in political science, Catherine has worked as a reporter and editor for a range of publications including World Politics Review, POLITICO, and NationSwell, a media company and membership network she helped to build. She is also an ambassador for the Solutions Journalism Network and the Franklin Project at the Aspen Institute.

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