networking

Networking Stories

Networking Stories

Lately the most visited page on the Tell Me A Story website is… this one. The problem? I wrote the original blog post in the Spring of 2016 and so much has changed for me since then!

In the past three years, I went full time with Tell Me A Story and have been building it into a full service brand. I started a podcast. I joined several professional networking organizations. And I grew less and less nervous showing up to events because as I showed up as my true self.

No blazer.

No agenda.

Just presence and an open mind to meeting new people, learning new things and seeing what might come of it way down the line.

6 Ways Personal Narrative Will Help You Professionally

6 Ways Personal Narrative Will Help You Professionally

Last week I moderated a panel discussion on developing your personal brand. There was a lot of debate amongst the panelists and audience members regarding how much we share from our personal lives when in a professional setting. Should you have two Instagram account? (My intern recently told me about FINSTA vs. RINSTA, and my mind was blown.) Do we stay buttoned up - both on the inside and outside - and keep our hobbies, passions, and feelings at bay?

Here’s my philosophy. Meld the professional with the personal. Be yourself and use storytelling as your guide. Here are six ways that crafting your personal narrative will help you professionally. 

Toastmasters is a thing of the past.

Toastmasters is a thing of the past.

Storytelling is the future.

In Brené Brown’s book, Daring Greatly, she says this:

For three days I sat and watched some of the most amazing and provocative talks that I've ever seen. After each talk, I slumped a little lower in my chair with the realization that in order for my talk "to work" I'd have to give up trying to do it like everyone else and I'd have to connect with the audience. I desperately wanted to see a talk that I could copy or use as a template, but the talks that resonated the most strongly with me didn't follow a format, they were just genuine. This meant I'd have to be me.

Though she is speaking about TEDTalks and that style of public speaking that people often feel the need to replicate or imitate, we wholeheartedly agree with her sentiment. And we think that Toastmasters leads to a need to make it “work”. Templates don’t work. Authenticity does.

Show Up As You: How Storytelling Can Help You Fully Embrace (and Share) Who You Are

Show Up As You: How Storytelling Can Help You Fully Embrace (and Share) Who You Are

Public speaking, storytelling, and leadership all tie together and the more you can align the three, the better off you will be as a strategic and impactful communicator. I think of it as speaking your truth

Three summers ago I got emergency gall bladder surgery while on vacation at the beach. When I spent my entire vacation in the hospital, and then two weeks lying on my couch at home not working, I started to panic. I had freelance jobs, paid my own health insurance premium, and did not have any vacation days or sick days. And now I was stuck with a huge out-of-pocket fee and way too much free time. I HATE down time.

Stop Talking About the Weather.

Stop Talking About the Weather.

I work out five times a week. I’m not sharing this fun fact to brag or because there’s a correlation between physical exercise and storytelling. I’m telling you this because my exercise routine exposed a huge roadblock in the way that I communicate.

I go to an exercise studio on the 4th floor of an office building. The lobby is tiny with not too much foot traffic. The elevators are slow and I usually have a good five minutes of waiting for one to arrive. Peter is the front desk associate. He’s in his 50’s or 60s and is always smiling and says “Hi, how are you today?” In most situations, this question prompts me to launch into a story of how my day has actually been and then inviting a story a return.