tahira-compressorby TAHIRA Akua TAHIRA

My talk title is Life Legacy: The Story We Leave Behind. In preparation for my talk, I found myself reflecting on what story means to me.

Words are how I metabolize life. The byproducts of that metabolism are stories I create. Some stories I share with others in my work as a professional storyteller. Some stories I share with those in my inner most circle. Others stories may never leave the pages of my journal. My mentor, Baba Jamal Koram, taught me that every story is not for every ear.

Story is the most commonly used tool to influence others. Every major component of our lives others are trying to convince us to think or do something; and they use storytelling to persuade us. Be it in the arena of politics, business or religion, storytelling is at the heart of it all.

I am certain the same will hold true for this TEDx Wilmington Women Conference. Speakers will share their idea worth spreading and I suspect each at some point in their talk each will use a story to do it. The key is to make the story resonate with the audience so they carry it with them when they leave.

The preparation for my talk is centered how to make sure the story I tell reverberates in the heart of the listeners. The best way I know how to do achieve this aim is to do two things:

  1. Be Authentic
  2. Be Vulnerable

When you are genuine, people tend to trust you. They will lean in to hear what you have to say. When you show your vulnerability, people are more likely to open up and accept what you have to offer.

Now with just about two weeks remaining, I am putting the final touches on my talk. I know I have hit those two targets (Authenticity and Vulnerability), if when I am done, it feels like I opened up the pages of my journal and read it aloud to the audience.