Sunday, October 20, 2013


I’m on my way to Argentina to staff a Strategic Partnerships Mission. But one meeting from last week was particularly important, and I wanted to write a few thoughts down while it’s still fresh.

I had the privilege and opportunity to run a “storytelling” presentation to a group from National Young Leadership Cabinet, of the Jewish Federations of North America. We were some 30 people in the room, and I spoke for some 45 minutes about how I put stories together, how I make my “case” to an audience, and – maybe most importantly for many people – how I overcome “stage fright” and stand up in front of a crowd.

And in the discussion we had, I made a point that I want to bring up here. Good storytelling is like good presentations, and good public speaking, and good solicitations … it’s all about the audience, and the audience’s needs. It’s not about you. And it’s not about how awesome and great you are, and the work that you do.
It’s about how awesome and great the audience is, for connecting with you. It’s about how you are implementing their values and their ideals.

And even more importantly: the best kind of storytelling is the passionate, dedicated type. 
Formal, long-winded, reading-from-a-text … that stuff is a killer. If you don’t love what you’re doing, and you don’t find what you’re doing particularly interesting – everyone’s going to see it, and hear it in your voice, and pick up on your body language, within seconds. 

But if you love it, and you’re passionate about it, and you love the audience … you’ll help them change the world.

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