Telling v. Living

Recently I got to watch a group of interesting, passionate women tell stories.

One woman shared the story of when she started a golf tournament fundraiser for her local Make-A-Wish chapter.  The first section was very deliberately crafted—she used phrases like “And then I turned from my computer and let out a sigh of disappointment.”

When she was finished, I asked, “Did you write the first part down world for word?” She said she had. “And then, when you got to the middle, when the woman talks about her son’s Make-A-Wish trip, you didn’t write that part out, right?” She confirmed that she “went off-script” for that section.

I turned to the rest of the group. “Which part moved you the most? When was she most connected to us?”

The answer was that when she had veered away from her script, when she dropped into the space of reliving the experience instead of narrating it to us, we were all there with her. 

We love stories because they help us connect with each other. When you’re telling us a story, let yourself be on the inside of the experience. That invites us to come in, too.

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