Michelle Sandford is a great example of using storytelling for social change at a recent Stories From The Heart live storytelling event. The success of the event is down to the wonderful people who are willing to stand in front of an audience and be their true authentic selves. There are no slides, no notes and nowhere to hide!
The energy in the room is incredible
With soft lights and the flickering of a virtual campfire, storytellers step up and share from a place of authenticity and giving.
This is pure storytelling at it’s very best. Real, raw and relatable.
While stories are shared you can hear a pin drop. You can feel the energy in the room. There are collective goose bumps, shared tears and infectious laughter, along with a deep sense of gratitude for those willing to share a tale of the self with such openness.
Then there is the audience. Those who have purchased a ticket and come along to simply listen and hold the space for others to share. By the end of the evening, many in the audience who came to watch are keen to share their story, the expereince has a snowball effect.
Introducing Michelle Sandford
I first met Michelle Sandford when she was a speaker at TEDxPerth in 2014. I had admired her from afar and so was delighted that she came along to the very first Stories From The Heart event.
When I asked Michelle if she would consider being a featured story sharer for this event, I got a warm and wholehearted YES.
“My hope would be that each of us examine our own hearts and try to be the best person we can be, try to spread a little goodness and kindness in into the world. I recognised that we cannot change all the terrible things that occur, but that we can change some things and help some people – and that it is my hope that each and everyone in the room would choose to do that.”
Michelle is a Tedx Speaker, Tech Girl Superhero, and one of MCV’s 100 most influential women in Games. Michelle is an advocate for women in Tech and a champion for encouraging kids to code.
She is a philosopher, a social entrepreneur and a benevolent dictator in need of an angel investor. Michelle works for Microsoft and is also the Global President and Founder of TechOutsiders.
Michelle leads a tribe of people seeking to change the world one good action at a time. She stays one jump ahead of the Game (boy) by thinking outside of the (X) box. Michelle surfs waves and webs. She is a fantastic example of how to use storytelling for social change.
Storytelling for social change – the essence of the story
Michelle describes the essence of her story. “A childhood realisation that no-one knows who we are, better than ourselves. That we live our own lives and make our own choices. That if we wanted to, it would be easy to fall into an attitude of entitlement, that we could choose to live in fear and hate because that is the direction that government and media herd us in. But my hope would be that each of us examine our own hearts and try to be the best person we can be, try to spread a little goodness and kindness in into the world. I recognised that we cannot change all the terrible things that occur, but that we can change some things and help some people – and that it is my hope that each and everyone in the room would choose to do that”.
This is what Michelle had to say about the Stories From The Heart event.
“I thought it was a tremendous event, and the reminders, the messages and the help offered by Lisa ensured I kept on track and was prepared and ready to go on the night.
Every speaker had their own style, and I loved that each one brought a little bit of who they are as a person to their speech – and the sharing was very touching because of that. I would say that it is a great event to speak at, and no matter where you are in your life’s journey, you will be better as a result of being part of this.
A good story comes from the heart – it doesn’t have to make you cry, it doesn’t even have to be that personal. But you have to care about it. It has to be something that matters to you. People do not care about structure, or balance, or fine words – they want to connect with people, they want authenticity, they want truth”.
Here is the video of Michelle’s story so you can see how she uses her storytelling for social change:
Find out more about Michelle as a speaker and as a Tech Girl Superhero . You can see Michelle’s TEDxPerth talk Where Have All The Girls Gone? here (another great example of storytelling for social change).
This sold out event raised $1000 for Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia and the beautiful Scarlet Room at the Northbridge Hotel was donated for the night. Professional sound and photography was done by Gary Jackson who generously volunteered his time and Ming Johanson captured the video and helped out in the lead up to the event.
View upcoming Stories from the Heart events here.
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.
Looking to work on using your own storytelling for social change? 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 firstname.lastname@example.org or call +61 (0)438 902042.