Storytelling for conservation action

Write down your story and read the full example to help you

Exercise 9: write down your story for conservation action

Write down your entire story. Read it and improve it. Practice telling your story to family, friends or collegues and ask for feedback. Finetune and optimize your story.

Example for inspiration

The example below is a speech of Rezvin for potential donors, to be held at the Rotary club. It’s a eight minute version of the main story of this course.

OUR STORY OF REZVIN: her presentation of the power of TigerTeams to convince donors

I fell in love with nature when I was a child, always watching the playful birds in my garden, listening to their songs. After studying zoology, I proudly joined Wildteam, an organization dedicated to protecting the Sundarbans and the magnificent tigers living in it.

As you know, the Sundarbans is an amazing, huge mangrove forest. It’s the jewel of Bangladesh. Beautiful rivers meander and host dolphins, fish, crabs and rare crocodiles. During the day I love sailing through the narrow creeks, where I can touch the leaves of the overhanging trees. I can feel the life of all these plants and creatures, created by God. Then I really feel at home, like visiting my family. At night there is a magic silence….Read more

Imagine that Rezvin decided to give a factual presentation. Below is an example of how this information could look like.

OUR STORY OF REZVIN: factsheet of the case of WildTeam, protecting the Sundarbans its tigers in Bangladesh

The Sundarbans is the largest single block of tidal halophytic mangrove forest in the world. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site covering parts of Bangladesh and the Indian state of West Bengal. More than two-third of the Sundarbans is in Bangladesh and the remainder is in West Bengal, India. The Sundarbans National Park is a National Park, Tiger Reserve, and a Biosphere Reserve located in the Sundarbans delta in the Indian state of West Bengal. Sundarbans South, East and West are three protected forests in Bangladesh. This region is densely covered by mangrove forests, and is one of the largest reserves for the Bengal tiger…. Read more

Which of the two presentation will stick and persuade the target audience? Why?

Exercise 10: shift of perspective

A story can be told from different perspectives. The target audience needs to be able to identify with your cause. So make it personal. A good story about nature conservation activates the reader by identifying with the characters and plot.

In order to get personally involved with a story, the listener must be able to at least identify with both the hero and the conflict. The presentation of Rezvin for the Rotary Club used Adam as hero, an academic with a great reputation among professionals and a fantastic state of service.

But if Rezvin wants to convince other villagers, she would have to tell the story with Rashid as main hero. Villagers can more easily identify with Rashid than Adam.

Exercise ‘shift the perspective’: Take the emotional story Rezvin told and re-tell it from Rashid’s perspective. Feel how he first distrusts Adam, but slowly lets his guards down. Good luck!

Exercise 11: practice your story for conservation action

Tell the story you selected to a friend, a family member or a colleague. Ask for feedback. Improve and try again.

Example: The story of of TigerTeams in the Sundarbans told by Linda Pluto

Linda Pluto was on a three month traineeship with WildTeam. Instead of making a power point presentation about her experiences, she told her story:

Extra material about the Tigers of the Sundarbans

Extra material: Al Jazeera

Warning: The following video shows the killing of a stray tiger by an angry mob in a Sundarbans’ village. This was the common practice before the introduction of the Tiger Response Teams by WildTeam because there was no alterenative available.

Extra material: BBC documentary

This documentary shows the training of the Tiger Response Teams by WildTeam.


Congratulations! You have completed the last Topic of our course Storytelling.

Read the next Key subject and Join IUCN’s campaign How to tell a love story

Frogleaps whishes you strategic successes and maximum results!