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The big presentation

On Friday, Feb 9th, I facilitated a 'Changemaker Day' for 6th graders at the Trinity School in Atlanta.

A Changemaker Day is a day-long workshop that teaches students storytelling, empathy, and innovation. The day is usually led by a trained public speaker who has very interesting stories and moments in their life to share.

I, for one, feel like I haven't really experienced that much life - that my stories aren't that thought provoking... Also I am not the typical speak-in-front-of-the-whole-class type of person.

BUT, what we preach at My Name My Story (the organization that facilitates Changemaker Days) is that everyone has a story - and sharing your story is powerful.

After remembering that my stories are thought-provoking, I started to prepare for my 5-hour workshop.

Preparing for anything and everything is key, especially if it is a presentation. I find writing bullet points of strong moments in a story is more helpful than trying to read from a script - it makes you seem more authentic and real.

Speaking of authenticity, that is what made this workshop better than I could have imagined! If you don't bring your authentic narrative to the table, people won't completely buy in. It's like trying to convince someone to buy a product that you don't even own - very unconvincing.

So I shared me - I talked about struggling in reading and writing with dyslexia, when I tried out for 7th grade volleyball and got the ball stuck in an overhead light, and how I felt at my cousin's funeral. When I spoke about my goofy, sad, crazy self I felt a shift in the room. The 6th graders were locked in, they were supporting me and I was supporting them. It was powerful.


To wrap it up, if you are nervous before a presentation, interview or empathy workshop, remember this:

  1. Your story is worthwhile

  2. Prepare

  3. Be Authentic

  4. Throw in a dance party - cuz who doesn't love a dance party?


The Jane Way
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