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Read This Story

by | Aug 24, 2016

Executive Communication Speaker and CoachI rushed into the hospital room on autopilot and rattled to the patient lying in the bed, “Hi Nancy. I’m Karen and I’m here as part of Temple Emanu-El’s Caring Congregation Committee.”

You could say I wasn’t very present as I entered Nancy’s room.

About twice a month I volunteer on behalf of my synagogue and visit members of our congregation who’re in this hospital. On this particular day my to-do list of business and personal stuff overflowed.

She smiled from her bed and responded, “I’m so glad to have you visit me. Yesterday was a tough day. The doctor amputated my right foot. But, today, I’m doing better.”

Suddenly, I didn’t have anything else to do. My never-ending list evaporated. My agenda consisted of one thing – being present in that room for this smiling patient attempting to overcome big obstacles.

We chatted. Nancy said, “I like to make people laugh.” “Great”, I responded, “I like to laugh.”

“Can I tell you some jokes?” Nancy asked. “Sure”. “Ok…. What do you call a cow with no legs?” “I don’t know. What?” “Ground meat.” “What did the ceiling say to the wall?” “Meet you at the corner.”

Ouch…. but I did laugh to those jokes and more. Much later as I was leaving Nancy said, “Karen – here’s my philosophy…. Everyone can afford a smile. They’re free.”

Supposedly in this volunteer role I’m the one helping others. Wrong. I learn something every time I make a hospital visit. Nancy’s lesson remains vivid – be present and smile. This demeanor will add to your professional and personal gravitas.

This blog concludes my series on How To Tell a Story, by telling you a story following the pointers I’ve suggested over the past 7 blogs:

  • Use dialog
  • Keep the story moving forward
  • Set the context, conflict and resolution
  • Have a message
  • Make it relevant to your audience
  • Use stories from your life experiences

Use stories. They make your message stick.

© 123RF Stock Photo

© Karen Cortell Reisman, M.S., author of 3 books and President of Speak For Yourself®, works with decision makers on how to speak with gravitas. It’s all in how you speak for yourself. Karen also speaks about her cousin, Albert Einstein, in a message about hope, resilience and brassieres.

Read more at www.SpeakForYourself.com/blog.

Did you know that we also do Star Ranch Retreats? Come enjoy the nature, the hills, and the longhorns. It’s a great place to feed your inner-cowboy and grow your company.





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