Culture of Confidence

Why You Must Make Strong “Asks” for Our Campaigns

Photo: Moyan Brenn via Flickr (Creative Commons)
Photo: Moyan Brenn via Flickr (Creative Commons)

As I was walking into a store recently someone was there running up to people and handing out coupons. She had a huge smile and seemed so excited to share this opportunity with people.

She just came right up and asked “would you like to hear about our latest deals?”

I couldn’t help but be more interested in what she was handing out and her attitude made my day that much brighter.

Then I realized “how come I don’t act like this when I’m talking to people about my own projects/campaigns?”

If our organizing for social change really is as critical as we know it to be, then we need to be out there on the streets or calling people up to let them know.

I know I still get nervous or quiet when I’m publicizing an event or initiative in-person or over the phone`.

Ideally I would love for people to come over to me and ask what I’m doing and then I would be totally comfortable sharing! Unfortunately for my ideal setup, this doesn’t happen too often.

However, now I believe it’s much better that I should be the one to start the interaction with others. Shouldn’t I be stoked to be letting folks know about this important campaign that they really would love to hear about?

Even though I know this positive outlook is true, it will still be hard for me to work up the resolve from time-to-time.

What I need to keep in mind is that making the “ask” is essential to the success of our campaigns.

So how can we go about making sure we have strong “asks?” Well let’s take a look at a few tips.

  • Stand in front of the table (if you have one)
  • Go up to people, don’t wait for them to come to you
  • Pick up the phone and call. Email should be your last option.
  • Keep at the front of your mind why this is so important to you and why you think others would find it important
  • It’s up to the campaign leadership to make sure to take the time to train and make sure everyone feels confident
  • Remember if you value the work you’re doing, others will most likely value it too so you’re supporting them by telling more about your efforts
  • Be energized!
  • Remember to listen and not just talk! Engage people in a conversation

These are are just a few ideas to keep in mind. However, the most important is just remember why you are doing this and that your efforts matter.

If you’re like me your “asks” may not be the smoothest at first, but if you keep it up then you’ll be sharing so many new opportunities with folks to get involved or support the campaign that may never have had the chance before.

What helps you make the “ask?” Give your thoughts below!