In September, 2012, I had the opportunity to experience former President Bill Clinton‘s closing Plenary at his annual conference Clinton Global Initiative. While the 90 minute presentation reaffirmed highlights of the three day event, the final six minutes captivated the audience with an emotional story about a disabled Chinese women he finally met after walking in her house nearly 15 years ago.
“I was taken to a home” he said, “her home – but because there was so much prejudice against people with disabilities – she was taken upstairs so the President of the United States would not see her… it could have broken her, but instead she refused to be a victim and instead becomes her country’s most prominent advocate for disability rights. So, when you get discouraged, unless someone left you on the bed….. you don’t really have any problems.”
He paused for a moment as he took a deep breath, and ended by saying, “for the rest of my life, on every down moment, I will seek to remember this beautiful woman and I hope you do too.” In my conversation with Jeremey Donovan about his latest book, How to Win the Toastmasters World Championships of Public Speaking: 2012 International Speech Contest, I was reminded of the power of personal narrative – Here’s why it’s the difference between winning and losing —