Yesterday I had the gift of speaking at a Walsh College women’s entrepreneurial conference, and I loved every minute of it.
I used to get nervous speaking in front of large crowds – which is funny considering that I earned a master’s degree in poetry, where your heartfelt words and feelings are always delivered before a spellbound crowd.
I’m not nervous anymore; in fact, I love the rush of adrenaline that public speaking brings me and the knowledge that I know a little something of value to offer to others.
My session attracted a standing-room-only crowd to hear me share tips and tidbits about storytelling as a means of promoting one’s business. Storytelling is everything, in fact, and if you don’t know your story, that’s the first place to start.
And then, it’s time to look at what about your story can benefit others.
Really, my talk was more about how we can each uniquely help make the world better more than it was about building individual businesses. That takes care of itself when your heart is in the right place.
I shared success stories, stories of businesses and people that drew media attention and had wide exposure. I shared stories of failure, which had a common thread of no desire to do good, but only a greedy hunger for doing well.
And I shared my stories of humanness, which underlies everything.
You see, people do business with people – not with businesses, or entities, or organizations. It is the heartstrings tug that motivates someone to action – not a good ad or a compelling product or a low price. All of those things might inspire temporary action – but they won’t build a lasting relationship that includes loyalty.
The words still matter. The moral of the story matters. The compelling lead that pulls you in and the meat of the story, too.
But none of it makes a difference if there isn’t integrity behind it.
I told my audience to think about where they are helping others, in what ways do they give back, what information or expertise do they have to give away free-of-charge. Those are the points where we make connections and draw attention.
Storytelling isn’t hard. It’s getting the story right, and the timing, and finding the audience who will listen. And the only reason people want to hear your voice is if it matters to them.
Caring about others should be the blood running through all our businesses. When it is, we will all reap the rewards – monetarily, in personal satisfaction, and in achievement.
Then, and only then, there is on turning back. Count on it.