Speaking out on shame and bullying

Storytelling for change: One of the most moving TED talks that I have heard is Monica Lewinsky’s TED talk on shame and bullying. At the age of 21 she made international headlines as “that woman”, her life was never the same again. She was bullied, judged, humiliated, threatened and vilified and constantly hounded by the media. The world deserves to hear your story.

storytelling for change monica lewinsky
Image: Screenshot TED.com

We all make mistakes

When the scandal broke about the Lewinsky affair and president Clinton admitted having an affair with her, she was only 21 years old. A lot of people judged her. We all make mistakes and have regrets, it’s how we deal with those mistakes that is important.

I would respectfully challenge anyone who says they have never made a foolish mistake at the tender and vulnerable age of 21.

During her TED talk she read from notes that were placed on a stand in front of her. For me, that was probably the only thing about her speech that I didn’t like. Using notes, in particular when they are placed in front of you on a stand, creates a barrier between you and your audience.

When you are giving a speech about your own story, you live and breathe this stuff, there should be no need to have it written out word for word. However, she still managed to create an authentic connection.

However, this was a really big deal for Monica. It wasn’t until 2015 that she started speaking publicly about the incident that ultimately changed her life.

Her TED talk was wonderful, emotional, poignant, honest and grounding.

Monica talks to Chris Anderson in an interview.  She talks about her fear of public speaking and some of the strategies she used to get by.

One technique that I love and use myself is power posing, and another strategy that she shared is this.

On the top of her notes that she had in front of her throughout her speech, she had the words:


Yes, it absolutely does matter. We all have stories to share, stories bring us together in a way that other types of presentation don’t.

Storytelling for change – Stories from the heart

I am passionate about storytelling for change. Telling our stories is a way to inspire and motivate others to take action. Everyone has stories to share. I’m often told “I don’t have any interesting stories, my life is too ordinary”.

The best stories I have heard are those told by ordinary people living ordinary lives and it is the willingness to openly share those stories from the heart that makes them extraordinary.

Are you incorporating storytelling into your business presentations? Do you aspire to give a TED talk? Would you like to mine, refine and deliver your stories?

If you are interested in live storytelling and you are based in Perth, I’d love to see you at the next Stories From The Heart live event. Not in Perth? Check out my book, Stories from the Heart, for more examples of storytelling for change.

As a storytelling expert, known as The Story Midwife, I help leaders to create compelling presentations through business storytelling.

Before becoming a Professional Speaker, I worked for over twenty years as a midwife.

I now live and breathe stories as a speaker, trainer, performer and coach.

As a World Class Speaking & Storytelling Coach, I’ll help you mine, refine and deliver a captivating story for your business or brand. Whether it is the boardroom, podium or stage; I can show you how to develop a persuasive presentation with a compelling story that will be hard to forget by anyone who gets to experience it.

If you would like to find out about training for your team, I’d love to hear from you. Contact me lisa@speakingsavvy.com.au or call +61 (0)438 902042.