Last week on the blog & Alexa Flash Briefing, I shared the story of Neighbor's Table after having heard about their organization through my Pastor. He shared their mission in one of his sermons as he preached on the Commandment of "Love Thy Neighbor".
I was so taken with Sarah's story, I left church that day and googled her and her 'love mission'.
I quickly shot off an impromptu email, gushing about how much I admired her story, and requesting an interview.
I knew I would be in the Dallas area the following weekend, would it be possible to stop by and chat with her.... at the table?
As luck would have it, Sarah was available and said YES to my interview request.
I stopped by her house in downtown Dallas, and after a quick welcome and introduction, we stepped into her backyard to sit down for this Facebook Live interview.
What unfolded was nothing short of magical and inspiring.
Sarah shared how her entire business is founded on the power of Storytelling, and to this...
Every week inside the LIGHTbeamers Community (our private FB group),
I post a picture that is aimed to prompt the members to tell a piece of their own story. The idea is to let the image spark ideas and creativity, mining a story the picture seems to tell.
This week, the picture was of a lion… a close up of just her face. Her eyes staring straight at the audience, looking deep into the eyes of her beholder.
I asked the Community to share what they felt like the Lion was saying to them when the looked at the photo.
One of the women in the Community shared these words —
"And just like the Lion, she didn’t concern herself with the opinion of others. She was created to be bold and fierce and so she settled into her own skin and let that truth sink into her bones. So she stood tall with her face to the wind and claimed her place in this world. She had been given a voice that would not be quieted in the face of fear."
This practice of using imagery and...
This coming weekend, I’m headed to Dallas, TX to speak at The Kindness Summit — a gorgeous event organized by Louisa Garrett of the #MakeKindLoud movement.
Our task as speakers is to talk about How to Make a Kind Imprint in the World.
As I sat in the park yesterday, putting the final touches on my talk, I thought more about how Kindness shows up in Storytelling.
For me, Kindness has shown up each time I’ve sat down with someone to interview them, or to help them with their story. And the Kindness has come through listening.
I’ve talked about how important listening is before, but let me say it again here: When you take the time to listen to people…. to ask them questions about their life, their business, their passions, their family… and then sit and listen intently, kindness is showing up with you.
People just want to be heard.
They want to know their story matters.
They want to feel acknowledged and validated. I know I do…...
If I handed you a glass full of dirty water, would you drink it??
My guess is most of you — actually, I hope all of you — would say, “No way, April” …
For the record, I wouldn’t either.
Hold this thought for a minute of dirty water, because it’s a really great visual for the storytelling concept I want to share with you.
I talk to women on a daily basis — women I’m interviewing, women inside my Community, my private clients… and as we talk about their story, at some point or another we have to address the dirty water — which represents the negative thoughts they are filling their mind.
Thoughts like — "my story isn’t good enough."
"No one will care, they don’t want to listen to me share my story."
"My story is boring/not important/not...
One of my goals with LIGHTbeamers, is to bring you great stories from time to time, as I discover other women in the world who are up to some pretty amazing things.
This weekend, I learned about Sarah Harmeyer of Dallas Texas. Sarah is what she likes to call “a people gatherer.”
She says her favorite thing in the world is to gather around a table and celebrate with others. So, Sarah asked her Dad to build her a farm table that would seat 20 people, and because there wasn’t room for this inside her house, she set the table up outside in her backyard.
She decided to invite her neighbors over for a potluck dinner, to fill her table and create an opportunity to get to know the people living all around her.
She created a post on the community social media app, NextDoor, and invited anyone in the neighborhood who wanted to...
For more than 20 years now, I’ve been interviewing people as part of my work as a video producer, writer, and journalist. I always consider it a great privilege and honor when people accept my invitation for the interview, and proceed to answer the questions I ask….
Ultimately, this leads to them sharing their story with me — and there’s always this magical moment that happens at some point inside the interview… it’s like a chime that goes off in my head…. a little bell rings to signal that moment when we’ve hit our target. I’ve uncovered a golden piece of their story.
This happened yesterday when I was interviewing my guest on the Bright Light’s Storytelling Series— a weekly Facebook Live interview I do on Thursdays.
I was interviewing Lucy Brummett, a writer and blogger who went from being riddled with insecurity and self-doubt…. to stepping out as a writer & bloggers to be seen and heard....
How can you become a better Storyteller, and dig out the stories that are all around you?
I firmly believe the best storytellers of our time have earned their accolades as a result of years of practice.
So how to you practice storytelling? I think one of the best ways is through journaling.
Journaling is a sacred practice for many people who just need an outlet for the creative ideas, jumbled thoughts, and excessive words running around in their heads.
But journaling isn’t just about a brain dump — it’s about creating awareness.
Awareness is really the secret key that unlocks the golden door to storytelling.
Unfortunately, far too many people are running around in today’s world so busy being busy, they have no idea what’s happening around them, and they are clueless to the amazing stories that are...
There are 2 different kinds of stories; There’s the real story of what you really want to get out into the world…. then there’s another story that’s holding you back.
This 2nd story is the one that plays in your head and plays dirty tricks on you. It tells you things in order to hold you back and keep you from sharing the first story….. the one that matters.
The story that’s playing in your head is background noise and sometimes it gets really, really loud.
Do you know what I’m talking about?
That story usually sounds something like this:
“What will others think?”
“My story isn’t good enough”
“Nobody will listen”
“My story is boring”
“It’s a jumbled up mess in my head, I wouldn’t even know where to begin”
“People will think...
I believe there are prompts all around us. I’ve talk about it often — how being aware of your surroundings can produce the most amazing stories for you to share.
But if you are not in the habit of paying that close attention…. here's an easier trick you can try.
Most people have a creative side to them… even if they don’t realize it. And there is a way that stories speak to you.
For example, you may not be a talented artist but you really enjoy going to art museums or collecting unique sculptures.
You may not know how to play any musical instruments, but you really have a passion for music and you can recite the lyrics to every 80’s band song, or every rock n roll legend’s entire index of music.
You may not be a great writer, but you are a voracious reader— and you love a good fiction...
There is a Key ingredient of storytelling we need to talk about. Emotion.
If you want to use your story to build your business, your brand, your influence, or have a greater impact … you’ve got to do one thing: Make people feel something!
Stories that make us feel something, make us take action with our money!!
Yet all too often, we leave this piece of the puzzle out …. and then wonder why our stories aren’t connecting with our audience.
You have to use emotional language to spark a feeling….to get your audience to sit up in their chair and take notice.
We can add emotion into our stories in a variety of ways.
VIDEO — Video is one of the most powerful tools of visual storytelling because you can add in so many subliminal elements like music and graphics that aid in the story telling.