“Tell me about yourself?”
Short question, seems easy right? You have known yourself for a really long time so start talking! Quickly you rattle off your name, your degree, your title….then, there is silence. You swallow hard and look to the floor. What should come next? Glad you asked!
Coming up with your “story” and making it interesting to an audience other than your Uncle Phil or your mom is complicated, intimidating, and kind of weird.
I recently completed a project with a group 17 year old students. The Who Am I Project was 8 weeks of exploration, laughter, tears, hard work and lots of talking. The students were tasked with showing up for an hour each week in an effort to create a body of work to present to an audience of parents, peers and perfect strangers. The goal of this speech/essay was to go beyond what test scores and transcripts can say about a kid. This work would truly give an honest and accurate snap shot into their soul. What scares them, motivates them, makes them smile.
The project was emotional. The project was hard. The project was a success.
And, the project validated what I have always known.
Everyone has a story and it is difficult to tell. No matter who you are.
The Who Am I Project and what it stands for is not just for kids. It is for CEO’s and business owners and managers and anyone who has to go into room and communicate.
- A company that can communicate their story with passion, vision, and accuracy will always keep clients and attract new ones
- A company that can communicate a consistent story internally and externally will not only succeed…they will thrive
- A company that can communicate what they stand for from the top down will never struggle in a pitch or in front of a podium because it is in their DNA
Creating a narrative that is accepted, digested, and hard wired throughout a company is crucial. However, it is often one of the things that is often most overlooked.
I am always amazed, yet not surprised, when I work with a CEO and ask them what the company does; who are their ideal clients; what really matters. Then I ask the CFO, the head of HR, and the receptionist the same thing. Almost always the answers are different. They shouldn’t be.
Each member of the team should understand the foundation of the narrative and then be able to bring their own flair and value to the conversation.
Your audience, your clients, and your new hires will trust you more…when you trust your message.
So, tell me about yourself! I know you have a LOT to say.
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By Kristen Daly