Communicating Your Need
Talking Points for Discussing Living Kidney Donation
Most people feel comfortable talking about topics they are familiar with and where they have some personal knowledge. The more you know about a certain subject, the easier it is to talk about it. The same holds true with telling people about your need for a kidney transplant. The more you know about living kidney donations, the easier it will be to talk about your condition.
Speak from your heart. If the words you are expressing are not sincere, the person you are speaking to will know. The most common reason given as to why people in need of a transplant don’t tell others about their condition is that they don’t want to “ask” someone to donate.
Letting people know about your condition is very different than asking someone to donate. The only way someone can offer to donate is if they are aware of your need.
Learn as much as you can about living donation so when someone asks you questions you will be able to answer them. If you don’t know the answer to a question that is asked, research the question and get back to that person.
Practice what you want to tell people about your condition. Find a person who will listen with support and encouragement, then role play with that person until you feel comfortable conveying your message.
The following talking points should help you develop what you want to say about your condition. Make sure you allow the person to ask questions…if they interrupt, give them the chance to speak and wait to finish your point
- Briefly, tell your story, how you came to be in need a transplant, your current physical condition
- Why you need a transplant…how it will help
- The Waiting List
- Benefits of a Transplant & Living Donation
- Most healthy people can Donate
- If they start asking questions about living donation in a way that makes you think they might be interested, make it clear that you are not asking for an answer now
- If someone offers to be a donor, or to be tested, you want to let them know that at any time they could change their mind and that they will not owe you an explanation why. That you’ve just decided it is not for you at this time.
Elevator Speech Guidelines
The term, “Elevator Speech” is used to describe a situation where you know that you might only have 30 seconds to minute to convey a message, where you will provide a small amount of information now, hoping that you might have an opportunity to expand on the conversation at some other time. Your goal should be to make 2 or 3 quick points that will be of interest to the listener. Sometimes an Elevator Speech immediately develops into a full conversation. Take the information you’ve developed above and cut back on the information so it will cover enough information so your listener will know about your condition.