Top Tips for Successful Storytelling!

As part of the pre-ICM Congress activities, Girls’ Globe – in collaboration with Johnson & Johnson – organized and hosted a Social and Digital Media Training for young midwives enrolled in the Young Midwifery Leaders (YML) programme. The aim of the training session was to equip young people with the tools they need to engage in social and digital media both during and after the 31st ICM Triennial Congress. The young midwives also learned skills that will allow them to advocate more effectively for midwifery in their communities and globally.

Here are our top tips for creating successful and powerful messages!

These apply not only to YMLs at the ICM Congress, but to anyone, anywhere, at anytime, who would like to improve their storytelling skills. Here we go!

Blogging Tips

#1: Define your passion: write something you care about and tell a human-centered story.

#2: Ask yourself why? Why is this story/your passion important to share with others?

#3: Think quality! Reference correctly, include sources, use pictures you’re allowed to use, have someone edit your work.

#4: Keep it simple and short! Avoid technical language and avoid repetition.

#5: Dare to be yourself and know that your voice, your opinions and your story matter.

#6: Encourage readers to take action – include relevant handles and hashtags!

#7: Share your post and get engaged in online conversations

Creative Digital Storytelling Tips

#1: Use your creativity! And always remember: be yourself! 

#2: Good lightning and good sound. Preferably shoot in daylight and check that your microphone is working properly.

#3: Always have nice background and settings – avoid a white wall. Sit in front of your colourful bookcase, stand on the sidewalk in your city get comfortable in your garden.

#4: Use the right mode – portrait or horizontal – for the respective channels you’ll be using.

#5: Edit your video to make the most out of it. There are several apps and tools that you can use to make it more lively.

Digital Media and Advocacy Tips

#1: Know what’s up and be heard! Stay up-to-date use relevant handles and hashtags.

#2: Stay true to yourself – be your creative self and remember, your perspective is unique.

#3: Go live! Use Facebook Live and/or Instagram Live when capturing a speaker verbatim in real time.

#4: Know the facts! Take notes during events you’re sharing stories from, and make sure that what you’re sharing is accurate.

#5: Get visual! Add photos and videos to increase visibility and offer your own perspective.

Are you ready to put these into practice? Submit your application to become a Girls’ Globe Blogger and join our global network of engaged women and girls from all over the world!

Midwives Made Me Feel Like Not Going Home

I have met both considerate and not so considerate midwives. Without a doubt, the majority have belonged to the first category, and to those who haven’t been as caring – I don’t blame you. I admire the work that you do, the long hours you spend in the delivery rooms, the paperwork you need to put up with. I admire all of it.  

I have nothing but respect for midwives and I feel tremendously grateful to live in Sweden, a country where healthcare is equally accessible to all. Not once during my pregnancy nor the delivery did I feel fear, in fact I felt quite the opposite. I really did feel that I was in safe hands all the way through – from planning the pregnancy to the postpartum period.

I had quite an uncomplicated pregnancy and delivery, more or less, but I won’t deny that I was exhausted (to say the least) when our daughter was finally born.

The midwives made be feel so comfortable in the patient hotel right after delivery that I almost did not want to go home. Home – which is otherwise the only place I want to be in times of exhaustion, insecurity or stress.

Knowing that they were right there, only a few footsteps away, gave me a strong sense of security. When my husband left the patient hotel for the first time, I recall the feelings of nervousness and insecurity that started to creep up on me. I was carrying our daughter in my arms when suddenly one of her legs turned completely blue. I panicked. I ran out in the hallway and screamed for help, and a midwife in her late 50s quickly came up to me: “You’re just holding her a little bit too tight, dear. Don’t you worry, she’s perfectly fine.” Her humble smile and reassuring stroke on my shoulder calmed me down in an instant.

On our second (and last) night in the hotel, the breastfeeding marathon was real. My breasts were crazy swollen, lumpy and aching and my daughter did not want to latch on properly. It was the middle of the night, I hadn’t slept for 48 hours and the tears seemed unstoppable. I felt inadequate for not being able to calm my daughter down when she screamed as if I was hurting her, while all I was trying my hardest to do was to please her.

This time, another midwife came to our room and, again, told me not to worry so much. “Let me hold her for you, and just try to relax for a moment. It’ll be alright, this is absolutely normal.” Then she helped me finding a comfortable position for breastfeeding while lying down, and put my daughter to my breast. The screaming party was finally over, and at last I felt as if I was able to breathe properly again.

Midwives provided me with their invaluable knowledge, skills and help, and I am forever thankful for the time they spent taking care of me and my family.

Obviously, we did eventually leave the patient hotel, but I’ll admit that I would’ve gladly stayed longer – in the safe hands of the midwives there. 

Girls’ Globe will be present at the 31st International Confederation of Midwives Triennial Congress – bringing you live coverage from Toronto, Canada via our #ICMLive hub. To keep up to date with all the action, use #ICMLive to engage online.