Ep 21 // Reimagining the Resume
One year ago TODAY, I finally understood the true POWER OF STORYTELLING, and it completely changed the way I thought of a "resume."
I felt inspired to write, so here is the written form, read below, but if you want the FULL STORY, listen to this week’s episode.
I had been a storyteller for several years at this point last year, so I thought I already grasped the importance of story.
But, what I was totally unprepared for when taking on the title of “Storytelling Coach”, was that it would fill me with doubts and harsh inner thoughts that would paralyze me with impostor syndrome.
Only weeks after I decided to quit my job last spring, I was offered the opportunity to come to San Francisco and a chance to speak at a local meetup.
I immediately jumped at the chance!
Upon learning the audience would be mostly men and tech/engineering folks, I decided to title my talk, "The Science of Storytelling.”
I then proceeded to study my ass off and memorize research findings from famous neuroscientists who spoke about empathy and its impact on decision-making.
When the day of the talk came, I was so nervous; the catchy title had prompted over 300 people to click “interested” on Facebook.
I arrived in SF, with everything I owned in my car, and literally ended up getting ready in a parking garage. I showed up trying hard to look the part of an “expert”, and my nerves only grew as I saw dozens of brilliant young minds coming in (final count ~100!!)
Within moments of starting my talk, I found myself starting to sweat. I removed my jacket, continued to strain my mind to remember the talking points I had so diligently memorized. My mind blanked and I awkwardly checked my notes. I could feel myself losing the audience and wanted to run away to avoid one more minute of looking into the hundreds of deadpan eyes staring back at me.
Don't believe me, check out the proof in the pic below!
I didn’t forget any part of my talk, I said everything almost down the exact word that I had planned… but something didn’t feel right.
After it was over, I asked attendees to share their thoughts. The feedback was positive overall, though some confessed to moments when I lost them. Nonetheless, I felt like shit and didn’t know why.
A few months later, I came back to SF, and was given another chance to speak at this exact same meetup. I had only 2 days to prepare because another speaker had backed out last minute.
This time, I was determined to not make the same mistake. The solution… TELL MY ENTIRE PRESENTATION THROUGH STORY! (DUH!!!)
This time, I didn’t memorize talking points, I spoke from my experience, and I shared true stories from moments when I saw story really be transformational with my own eyes.
I felt myself connected to the audience so strongly. I didn’t sweat, my mind didn’t blank, I didn’t even bring notes with me. And this time, many faces shined with smiles and the eyes now looked at me like friends who could see themselves in my story.
THIS IS THE POWER OF STORYTELLING!!
Now, while neuroscience is super interesting, and a valid topic for some to talk about, it wasn’t my story. My passion for storytelling is rooted in the powerful human connection I’ve found through deep self-exploration and continually choosing to let myself be seen.
The mistake I made was trying to “look” credible. I made assumptions about what others wanted from me, and I was determined to prove my worth to them, even if it was bullshit.
What I learned is that an audience engages when they hear something that is real.. and that is already inside all of us.
From that day forward, I vowed to never again speak in anything other than story. And trust me, I drop some serious knowledge bombs in my workshops, but only ones I know to be true from MY experience.
If I ever get nervous when I’m getting up to speak, or preparing the record on my podcast, I know that all I have to do is look inside, remember what is true, and trust my voice.
And it works like a charm every time!
"You either walk inside your story and own it or you stand outside your story and hustle for your worthiness."
— Brené Brown
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With Love, Anna Darian
Storyteller / Coach / Podcaster / Live Your Dream Enthusiast!