It's been a strange and busy weekend for me.
On Friday night, my wife Elysha and I produced an unforgettable Speak Up storytelling event at Infinity Hall in Hartford. Our near-sellout audience enjoyed what might have been our best show ever, headlined by United States Senator Chris Murphy who told a fantastic story about an embarrassing moment he experienced while serving as an intern for Senator Chris Dodd.
In addition to producing the show, I told a brand new story about one of my most embarrassing and shameful parenting moments ever.
On Saturday my DJ partner, Bengi, and I worked our last wedding of 2018 at the Webb Barn in Wethersfield. I coordinated their ceremony and reception, served as emcee for much of the evening, and played music for a bunch of happy and excited guests.
On Sunday I traveled to Groton, MA to serve as minister at the First Parish Church of Groton while their full time minister was on vacation. In addition to delivering a sermon on faith, I also delivered a children's sermon, read poems and prayers (one that I wrote myself) from the pulpit, led the congregation in song, and even pulled the enormous cord that rang the church's famed Paul Revere bell, calling all to the service.
I did everything a minister would do with a little help from the worship coordinator and musical director.
After lunch with the parishioners, I taught a storytelling workshop to interested members and some folks from the community before heading home and discovering that the DVR failed to record the Patriots game.
Quite the weekend.
It seems like an bizarre combination of roles to jam into a three day period - storyteller, producer, wedding DJ, minister, teacher - but in truth, all of these roles rely on the ability to communicate effectively to a large group of people. The jobs may have been different, but in each case, the skill set required was essentially the same.
Speak. Connect. Engage. Entertain.
I say in the last chapter of my book, Storyworthy: Engage, Teach, Persuade, and Change Your Life Through the Power of Storytelling, that storytelling is a super power, and I wasn't kidding. Being able to tell a good story and engage an audience can open up all kinds of doors for you.
It can be the difference between being heard and remaining silent.
This weekend it meant sharing a stage with a US Senator, dancing the night away with a couple on their wedding day, and climbing the pulpit to tell a story and deliver a message on the age old struggle for faith.
I was also able to help six other storytellers tell their best stories on their biggest stage of their lives and teach a group of folks in a church basement how to begin their own journey into storytelling.
Learn to tell great stories. It truly is a super power. You never know what doors it may open for you.