Your story can be a powerful tool as you campaign for office or volunteer for an issue or candidate. It gives a personal face to your cause, and a personal aspect to the planks in your platform. An anecdote from your life can be an incredibly useful tool, whether creating viral online content, giving a speech, meeting voters, or doing an interview.

Take, for example, this questions: “Why are you running for office?” Why do you care about this issue? Surprisingly, many people botch the answers by repeating over-used clichés, or rolling out a laundry list of problems with the incumbent or the status quo.

So how do you come up with a good answer that includes your personal story and issues important to you? Start by sitting down and jotting out a brief history of your life. You don’t need to write your memoir here, just bullet points of important events. Think especially about events in your life that had an influence on your political philosophy or your decision to get involved in politics. Take your time and jot them down.

Next, think about what you hope to achieve while in the office you are running for (or if you’re an activist, once the candidate you are helping wins or the bill passes). Think about general or overarching principles, as well as specific fixes, programs, and ideas you might have. Think creatively here, but also be realistic.

Finally, think about the local issues that are on the forefront of voters’ minds. Think “water cooler” type talk, or issues highlighted frequently in local media. Things like taxes, traffic, and crime are a good place to start.

Now sit down with your three lists—your bio, your goals, and your list of issues—and find the nexus. You should be able to draw connections between your personal story, your goals, and the issues that matter most to the voters you want to serve.

You can use those connections to craft a fantastic answer to the question “Why are you running for office?” and many others. A personal story can create a personal connection with voters, neighbors, and connections online.

Want more tips on how to use your personal narrative when speaking to voters? Check out this video by American Majority President Ned Ryun.