Thursday, December 19, 2013

Pump up your speech with a personal story

I recently heard a client, Rachel Iskow, speak about the desperate need for apartment rentals that people who earn minimum wage can afford.

Iskow opened by giving her credentials, the years she’s worked for Mutual Housing California as the CEO and how challenging it can be.

But, she also said that whenever she spoke with a former resident whose children were now in college or working as lawyers, doctors and other professionals, she knows that the solid footing Mutual Housing communities give the parents makes the frustration worth it for her.

She also talked about her best friend in childhood, the daughter of a mother trying to make it on her own. 

After two years of friendship, the little girl disappeared from school one day.

No one knew what had happened to her until her mother found out that the family had been evicted from their apartment.

With no forwarding address and no way to contact—or to help—her, Iskow was distraught. But the incident planted an early seed that led her to her current career.

Talking about real-life, emotional experiences did two things for Iskow’s speech. One addressed why she became involved and the other gave an “ah-ha” moment that helps her when the obstacles feel overwhelming.

In talking about her own life, she touched issues everyone could relate to and made what could be a very dry subject resonate. 

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