Speak Up and Share What’s Important
Have you ever attended a client meeting, networking event or other occasion and felt alone or like an outcast because of a question someone asked you?
Maybe something like…
- How about those Red Sox? (When you can’t stand sports)
- Tell me, what do you do? (When you hate talking about business when you’re socializing)
- So, do you have kids? (“We have a 9 year old girl and 17 year old boy who both still sleep in the bed with us. In the morning I find them curled up in a ball at my feet. It’s so cute!”)
For me, it’s that last one because we don’t have kids. And yes, I once answered that way and yes it stopped the conversation very short. But, hey, at least I had a little fun. #shedtheformality
Sometimes, it’s easy to feel alone.
Share Your Ideas. Create a Connection
Yesterday, I came across an episode of The Opposite of Small Talk podcast, hosted by Kristy Olinger & Danielle McCombs, two women I met online last year during the pandemic. (I was also a guest on their podcast talking about courage and what it takes for bold action. You can tune in here.)
On this particular episode they interviewed Julie Brown, a Boston-based business development and networking expert, about being child-free by choice. You can tune in here if you’re curious.
I’m not going to get into the details of that conversation because that’s not the point right now.
The point is… chances are there is an audience of 1, 100 or 1000 (or more) who are waiting to hear YOUR message and feel less alone.
Like me, listening to that episode yesterday, wanting to shout “Yes! Yes! Yes” at the top of my lungs as I let out a big sigh and felt my shoulders drop because even though I’ve never met Julie Brown (I plan to reach out to her, though) I immediately felt a connection. No longer alone or an outcast.
Your Story & Ideas Matter
That’s the power of sharing our message, ideas and issues that are important to us. Because chances are they are also important to someone else waiting to feel less alone.
Look, I won the quietest girl award in 6th grade. I know what it’s like to live with your head down and your mouth shut and think that combination keeps you safe.
It does keep you safe until it doesn’t. And then the information you have and want to share stays in your head and your heart and ends up turning into anger, resentment, and anxiety.
Now, that got dark quickly, didn’t it? So let’s turn the lights back on.
I’ve said it before and I’ll keep saying it. The world needs you and your ideas, knowledge, story, wisdom, laughter, insights. Even if those ideas and stories are unpopular or go against the norm. People are tired of the status quo. It’s not getting them anywhere.
Time to get real, #shedtheformality, and break free from conventional thinking.
- Reframe those old beliefs that say “You can’t tell THAT story” into “HOW can I tell that story so it’s useful for someone else?”
- Drop the behavior that you have to be perfect or need one more god damn credential to share your expertise and instead lead with “how can I share what I know in a way that is unique to me and my experience to ensure I stand out and get heard?”
- Say YES to speaking up. Podcasts (as a guest or as a host), speaking gigs, panels, videos, sales or client conversations, networking events, hosting a retreat, etc. It might be messy, fun, and useful all at the same time.
And if you need help doing it, book a free 30 minute discovery call and let’s talk about how to get what’s in your heart and your head out into the world in a way that makes that one person drop their shoulders, breath easier, and shout, “Yes! Yes! Yes! Where have you been all my life?”
Because that, my friends, is enough.
Keep Showing Up
Keep Speaking Up
Keep Reaching Out
Now, your turn to talk to me
- Do YOU have kids?
- Are they furry?
- What questions have you been asked that stop a conversation before it starts?
Like what you read?
Become a Shed The Formality insider (it's free!) and get insights & inspiration twice-monthly, delivered straight to your inbox. Don't over think it. Sign up today!
Need a speaker?
Create a meaningful and valuable experience when you hire Stacey to Host, MC or moderate a panel at your upcoming meeting or event.
About the blog
Humor, stories, and insights, delivered 2x per month, to perform without the pressure.
Topics include mental health, work, human connection, creativity and more.