I was once at a conference where the attendees were asked to turn to a stranger sitting next to them and tell them a story that’s told and retold in their family about a family member. I turned to Lisa Watson and told her the following story.
Before heading into surgery for testicular cancer my father-in-law said to the nurse, “I sure wish I would have bought that boat.”
“What boat’s that?” the nurse asked politely.
“The one I looked at last weekend.”
“Because I won’t have the balls to do it tomorrow.”
Lisa Watson and I had a good laugh, and when the speaker asked audience members to tell the story that had been told to them, she recounted my father-in-law’s story. There was a brief pause before the room exploded in laughter.
The point of the exercise is that a two-minute story communicates so much more than reciting facts. And it’s memorable. I could have told you, “My father-in-law was one of the funniest men I’ve ever known, even when life threw him curves,” but you wouldn’t remember me or my father-in-law; nor would you know as much about him as you do from the story.
And we both know you’ll retell the story and remember it for a very long time.
Ah ha ha ha ha ha! Man I wish I had been in the Studio Theater for that one! Really great to me you yesterday! Thank you for all your tweeting at the conference! I’ll shoot you an email, since I never got you one of my cards.
One of my favorite moments of the day….
Thanks for sharing your story and your father in law’s sense of humor with me and everyone else.
It was great meeting you, Bethany. I look forward to hearing from you.
OMG, Lisa! I could hardly believe you stood up and told the story! My father-in-law would be so proud. (He would, really!)
It was fun hanging out and getting to know you better yesterday.
What a wonderful way to demonstrate the power of storytelling!❤️
Thank you, Finale!