Change Your Story, Change the Impact

I’m in Tucson this week at the PRSA Western District Conference.  This two-day event features breakout sessions, panel discussions and plenty of good networking opportunities.

Having planned a few conferences myself, it takes just the right combination of motivational, inspirational and educational content to make a good conference great.

And when you can get all three in one keynote speaker, you know you’re headed in the right direction.

Enter Imari Tuakli, the opening keynote for the conference. Imari did the opening session at the spring PRGN conference we hosted last May.  Within the first few minutes of our introductory conversation, I knew he would be perfect for that conference (and he was).  So, when the Tucson PRSA chapter asked for recommendations, I wholeheartedly recommended him for this session.

A storyteller by trade, he made the move to coach and speaker to bring what he learned to others. And as PR practitioners we are often storytellers ourselves, we were thrilled to hear what he had to tell us.

But while we are good at telling other people’s stories, when he asked us to partner up to share our story, you could feel the tension in the room.  This was going to get uncomfortable.  But knowing that the vulnerability we were about to experience would result in a better story, we were all willing to try.

For two minutes we shared a story about what is good in our life and what we did to create it.  The other person just had to listen.  Then we switched.  He asked a few people in the audience to talk about what that felt like.

He then asked us to tell the same story but this time, think about the why rather than the what.  And with that small change, the story changed. And when the story changed, the impact changed.

This small difference made all the difference in the power of the story we were telling.

What were the takeaways? To make a good story great, consider the following:

  • What is the lesson you are learning?
  • What does this mean to you?
  • How does this change your reality?

Telling a story, whether our own or those of others, is a great responsibility. We owe it to ourselves and those around us to make it as impactful as possible.

Imari, thanks for the reminder.

Written by
at Apr 28, 2023

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