Just turn around and listen…then be patient! #storytelling

The Sarah's - SC Mission 2014

Meet the two Sarah’s that attended SC Mission 2014.

It is one of the hardest things to do…to just turn around, listen, and trust our instincts. Major events allow communicators to tell rich stories. Many times we focus more time on the event and less time on the people attending the events.

Planning is key!
For the last few years, I have been capturing and telling stories of the un-insured in South Carolina. Each year I help document SC Mission…but this year was different…it was time to really find a good story.

From the first planning meeting, we committed to not only tell the story of the event…but seek the stories of individuals we so many times miss. This planning prepared me to step back and focus on patience. Patience allowed me to find the two Sarah’s.

I could have focused on the corporate story:
1) Sponsors
2) Partners
3) Volunteers
4) Numbers of people served
5) Hospitals serving the patients

We have heard these stories over and over again. In South Carolina…these are stories told over and over again by us corporate communicators. But this time…it was time to find richer stories. So we set out to find a women’s health story.

The data from the past few events increased year after year…more and more women were seeking women’s health services. We wanted to hear this unique perspective from the women who were willing to do just about anything to have simple access to quality care.

Meet the Sarah’s (above in the video). One Sarah is over 60 years old and walked close to 4 miles with a cain, in the middle of the night, to be first in line to be see a physician. The other Sarah used to have a normal life, normal job, and then she was in a major automobile accident. She has been unable to work because of her disability…so she found her way to SC Mission.

Patience is key!
We just had to be patient and listen. We had to trust our storytelling instincts, show up hours before the event and spend time talking to people…searching for a good story. The best part, after we found these stories and reviewed the footage…we found a shot of both of them walking early in the morning to attend the event.

Events are an amazing collection of stories…sometimes we just have to turn 180 degrees, listen, and engage in a conversation. The stories are right in front of us!

Here is a link to read my “Five Ways To Identify Great Storytellers” blog post.

CLICK HERE to download my eBook: “Where Are The Storytellers”