I 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.