Getting others to tell your stories: collecting meaningful quotes and testimonials


We’ve all been there. It’s 5pm, and the draft of the report is due tomorrow. Someone says “don’t we have any quotes we can use?” You frantically shoot off an email to get something, anything you can use by tomorrow to spice up a dry report full of facts and figures. What you get back is a blah, generic platitude, something along the lines of “We never could have succeeded without your help”. You’ve run out of time, however, so you hastily slap it into the report.

If done right, however, meaningful, well-structured quotes can be a key to telling a compelling, rich story. But how do you get those elusive words from reluctant, hard-to-reach beneficiaries?

The main trick is preparation – not weeks of refining the perfect question, but at least a little structure and thought before soliciting input. In my article at, the resource portal for Inyathelo: The South African Institute for Advancement, I talk about a few key things that will help you to get the most from your quotes.




  1. Telling stories for the human connection | Jennifer Geib {design + writing} - […] accounts from those involved in your work make the impact you’re talking about more tangible. Well-captured quotes lend credibility…

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