Have you ever hidden from the truth in something, like the reality of a particular story or experience?
For a few years, I’ve resisted a memory that happened near home in Washington, DC (per the 1.5 minute clip here). It inspired plenty of turbulent reactions on my end. It disappointed my (naive?) sense of how humanity can extend respect and a capacity to empathize. The scene involves a homeless person, one bystander, and myself encountering each other at a local downtown park.
I’m not sure why this took a few years to share this openly. Maybe the emotional whirlwind it gave way to took that long to process. Sometimes the brain takes a while to sift through an experience, and arrive at a more shareable piece of the story.
100 second story about President Roosevelt and the beautiful design of the Mayflower Hotel
A good friend and colleague recently called me out and said:
“Hey if you like sharing stories so much, why don’t you share more on video?!”
When it comes to storytelling, especially on video, I often make it too complex instead of focusing on the fun in it. Does that resemble your experience at all? Does your own creative anticipation ever trip up intentions or enjoyment for storytelling?
Self-analysis helps the education of any storyteller or speaker. An over focus however on questions like these below can drive one’s storytelling self bananas (…and straight out of the storytelling passion all together):
Is the story human and relatable?
Is it direct, sincere, and relaxed?
Is it energized enough?
Am I too self conscious or artificial sounding?
Considering these questions honestly can be a boon for growing storytelling strength (and joy in the creative effort). But sometimes it can be too easy to resign to the questions themselves — and let the chance to test and share stories openly pass on by. Let us be vigilant! Let us recover and assert the will to share the stories we believe in even if a degree of imperfection may find its way in the process.
New mantra: do not let excessive self-scrutiny smother confidence to create and connect.
So to take a break from writing today, I strolled down to the Mayflower Hotel to observe the beautiful building (here in Washington, DC), share a quick video story for fun, and try out the audio feature on iMovie.
What stories do you enjoy telling? to whom? and what helps you share (vs hide) them?
Washington, DC offers rich archives about oratory, rhetoric, and the power of ideas.
It’s all gone down here: presidential inauguration addresses, worldwide movements (& the voices who marched them forward), and states of the union that comprise our nation’s history. I love this city so.
When near the US Capitol today:
I was a few hundred meters from where Elizabeth Cady Stanton first delivered her Solitude of Self speech to Congress back in 1892.
Her persuasive ideas and what stood out:
There’s ample room to analyze this speech (her ultimate appeal for women’s suffrage to the Senate hearing committee). What keeps coming to mind is her focus on ‘individuality of the human soul’ and a pointed focus on the nature of self-dependence.
A favorite excerpt:
“The strongest reason why we ask for woman a voice in the government under which she lives; in the religion she is asked to believe; equality in social life, where she is the chief factor; a place in the trades and professions, where she may earn her bread — is because of her birthright to self-sovereignty. Because as an individual she must rely on herself. To throw obstacles in the way of a complete education is like putting out the eyes; to deny the rights of property is like cutting off the hands. To refuse political equality is to rob “the ostracized of all self-respect…”
What voices have influenced your thinking about access to opportunity and self-reliance?
Happy Women’s History Month!
And here’s to self-dependence, self-assertion, and celebration of progress.
More resources and ways to celebrate International Women’s Day:
…an on-the-go photo from tonight’s workshop led by CompassPoint CEO Nicolette Pizzitola. Topic: process to set service and product pricing.
Great crowd and questions with super research & formula ideas from Nicolette. Meeting up at these Fabulous Women Business Owners events is regularly a useful, fun time.
Multiple keynote presenters plus a stunning array of speakers will engage over a full spectrum of small business insight — from marketing and innovation to an entrepreneur bootcamp to social technology and even how small business relates to government and nonprofit sectors.
Fortune Magazine certainly convened an incredible group of forthcoming, strong storytellers at their Most Powerful Women Summit. What keeps coming to mind though are particular remarks from Secretary Clinton.
Nelson Mandela and a story that either ethically challenged or inspired or both.
The Secretary engaged with the audience in two different ways: she gave a closing address for the overall summit and then gave a relaxed, in-depth interview with TIME Chairman Ann Moore. There was a question from Moore that was something like: “What person most influenced you?” At this point, Secretary Clinton’s reply just blew me away.
She shared a specific memory about President Nelson Mandela during her White House years. In South Africa at a ceremony honoring Mandela’s leadership, Secretary Clinton remembered Mandela taking the podium and before launching into remarks, he first expressed gratitude for three jailers that worked in the Robben Island Prison where Mandela was incarcerated for many years. It was his focus on the positive qualities of those jailers and the inherent forgiveness within his gratitude that struck the Secretary and now, my outlook on both storytelling and ability to practice a forgiving mindset no matter one’s circumstances.
One minute audio clip: Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton on women in tech mentoring initiatives (and more)
“Talent is universal but opportunity is not.” -Secretary Clinton on the value of mentoring young women nationally and abroad at the #MPW summit.
Technology, especially social media, is a boon for women expressing their leadership and fortifying their sense of community. It was invigorating to learn more directly from the Secretary about these programs.