I have watched a crazy amount of television in the last three months. Between Wimbledon, the Olympics, the US Open and political conventions, I am bleary-eyed and maxed out. And what a competitive landscape! The medals and champions, the intensity, the speculation, the posturing, the media, the starlike status of all the players on these stages. Everyone is so slick, polished, so media trained. They speak a language of conciliation and sportsmanship but inevitably reveal the primal energy of fist-pumping victory. It’s so intense. I know it’s the nature of the beast and truthfully, I just can’t stop watching. Thankfully, as I write this, there are just two tennis finals to watch and then – take me home country roads!
So, it was a delightful reprieve, a mental and visual relief to just listen to this two-and-one-half-minute story on NPR. A simple and powerful story, told simply. Nothing heightened or over-embellished (OK, the music is a little much).
Most of us are not exceptional people with extraordinary stories. Celebrating our ordinariness is not something we naturally want to do when we stand before a crowd. It feels easier to inflate, aggrandize and get hyperbolic. If we don’t fist-pump then who will listen to us?
Resist this urge. Find your story. Tell your story. It will serve (get the tennis connection?) you and your audience so much more effectively. Real people sharing Real experiences giving Real presentations – that’s our motto. And thank you to the people at Story Corps for your commitment to honoring and preserving the oral tradition of storytelling. Enjoy listening to this: The last picture she saw was one of me.