For over 40,000 years, from cave drawings to social media posts, humans have told stories. Stories connect us, inspire us and cause us to dream. Based on extensive research (not by me!), stories put our whole brain to work and help us to relate on a more empathetic level.
Think about it – don’t you always want to know the back story of why/how an event happened, whether for a friend, colleague, or even a TV character? Don’t you know someone who’s a great storyteller – and don’t you always enjoy conversations with them?
We are programmed to respond to storytelling. It’s just part of who we are as humans. We tell stories every day. Short stories and (as my husband tells me) long stories – get to the point!
At the same time, telling a really good, really compelling story is challenging.
Which is why I was so excited to join the C3MD group recently for Ignite: Afterglow, a short course in what it takes to participate in Ignite Howard County – an event to create collisions of conversation and collaboration between people in our artistic, entrepreneurial, creative, technical and innovative communities.
Ignite: Afterglow was held in December 2019 a few weeks after Ignite Howard County #5, the most recent Ignite held on October 21 at Jailbreak Brewing Co. Afterglow started with a panel of recent Ignite speakers who answered questions about their experience – everything from why they decided to speak to how they prepared for their presentation.
It was encouraging to understand that many of the speakers have the same fears and insecurities that I do about public speaking. Their advice is to speak from the heart and practice, practice, practice!
After the panel advice, the whole assembled group participated in a storytelling exercise. First, in small groups, we listed story topic ideas, which garnered results from vacations to health issues to life paths to facing prejudices. We then had to choose a story of our own and tell two other people the story in 60 seconds. It’s amazing to think how short a time and how long a time 60 seconds can be!
The lesson for me was that we all have a story to tell and with help, we can pick the details of the story for it to be compelling, yet honest, with a beginning, middle and end.
Keep your eyes peeled for more information on Ignite in the future – we’d love to hear your stories!
—Sandy Young, C3MD Leadership Team