Tell your Story (…and how I met a Truly Inspirational Lady)

what-is-your-storyLast week I had the privilege, and it was a real privilege, of working with a great Lady whose work has improved the lives of tens of thousands of children in Nigeria. We met to discuss a very important pitch that she will deliver in a couple of weeks’ time. The meeting began by going through the draft pitch that she had prepared in advance so we could identify areas for improvement.

What followed was a very dry, and dare I say uninteresting, account of the work she had done so far and her plans for the future, delivered with little enthusiasm. This was almost unrecognisable from the extremely passionate and ambitious individual that I had come to know. As a result she was doing herself and her work a real disservice.

We quickly identified the problem. The pitch had been developed by summarising the business plan that she had been working on.

Instead I asked her to tell her story.

With no preparation the lady spoke passionately for more than 20 minutes about; how she had identified the problem that she was tackling and why it meant so much to her, the innovative nature of the service that she had developed, the remarkable impact that she had achieved, the progress made in developing her business and her plans to scale this up in the future.

The difference was remarkable.

By telling her story, the presentation was far more engaging. I was able to appreciate far more the lady’s real expertise (she’s an international leader in her field), why the work she was doing was so important and the huge positive impact she is having on the lives of people so far away. I bought into her vision for the future and was able to follow clearly how she intended to grow this in the future.

If you need to speak to people about your idea or business, think about how you will tell your story. It may make all the difference.

Thank you for taking time to read my story.

Marek Tokarski

Entrepreneurial Development Officer

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