Inspirational speaker and author, Swiyyah Woodard, shares how to tell your story. People learn best through stories. In order to inspire others you would have to show how you have overcome the impossible through God. You can read my story here. http://www.swiyyah.com/meet-swiyyah/ People have to believe that they too can overcome.
I was awarded as a Baynews9 Every Day hero, seen by two million viewers, for teaching others how to overcome mental illness. I told the story of overcoming the devastating effects of mental illness. I learned later that I was misdiagnosed but one person that I know told me she knows she can overcome Attention deficit disorder because I have overcome a more severe disorder.
Sharing your story in your speeches gives people hope. Here is a sample of me speaking. http://www.swiyyah.com/booking-swiyyah I teach authors that when they first come out with their book the bulk of their money won’t come from book sells it will come from speaking or coaching. I teach if you want to become successful, write your book as a fiction inspired by your true story. Many people write biographies or memoirs. It’s very difficult to promote this type of book if you are not famous yet. But if you write it as a fiction inspired by your true story filled with drama that many people love, you would have a winner. When I speak and tell my story I build up anticipation. I make it entertaining and educational with every word. I also point out famous people that have gone through some of the same things that I went through like abuse as a child and lose of a brother from suicide.
A lot of times people feel that they are all alone. They feel like they have this skeleton in the closet that no one ever has to know. When actually you have to tell a story that no one else is telling if you want to be known by the world. My goal in every speech is to inspire change and to show people that any dream is possible and I do this through my story. Also you have to know what parts of your story you do not want to tell. And you will learn this through practice, coaching, or performing your speech. When I first started speaking seven years ago I revealed a little too much which caused people to laugh at me but I loved speaking so much that I didn’t allow this to stop me. I knew I had a wonderful story to tell, that people needed to hear, a story that would save lives and create millionaires. And you never want to share your story and become a speaker for only money. If you’re doing what you love to do that helps people, money will come. But if your only goal is to become rich it will take you longer to reach that goal.
I have an unconditional love for people and I want to see everyone successful. In my speech I teach that many are slaving at a nine to five job with little hope and drive to do better. They are in their own way. They come up with excuses as to why they are not living the life they want. If you are using your God given talent, you will soar. I teach, take baby steps and don’t quit because you are bored. It takes many years to develop a skill set. You don’t want to waist the time that you spent developing your skills. And you have to be very careful whom you tell your dreams to.
I’m also a certified TV producer. My first TV show was called, “Living my dreams,” and aired in 200,000 homes in the Tampa Bay area. I was local but I was bringing in Platinum selling artist like Rick Ross, Khia, and DJ Trans whose music appeared on the Cosby show. The first time I went to a program to get funding to start up my business I had no business plan. My hair was thrown together and I was wearing slippers. My counselor looked down at my slippers, looked at my hair, looked at my torn outfit and said, “You’ll never make it as a TV producer, do it for free.” I cried and cried. Those words hurt me so bad that it took me seven years to get up enough courage to start again.
When people are stuck in a stressful nine to five job they feel as if that’s the only way they can survive. A year ago I went back to the same office. I had on an expensive suite, nice shoes, hair done nicely, a press kit, and my book. The same counselor was now a manager for the program. I sat in a meeting with my new counselor, the manager, and the supervisor of the program. The first thing the manager said was, “Who would pay you to speak?” By the time I was done with that meeting I not only secured myself with funding to start my business but I also received a hug from the manager.
Before you present your idea of making money telling your story you have to make sure you are prepared with a professional business plan. A lot of colleges have someone that will coach you for free. One person said, “90% of Americans hate their jobs.” They never fulfilled their dreams so why would they believe in yours? Also if you want to make money telling your story you have to create a team. Become more observant and pay attention to which people you know that are living out their dreams and working for free. Tell them your plans and see if they would want to volunteer. You may have family members or friends that have college degrees and want to be apart of something great. Make sure they are not the negative type that believes in nothing. It takes a team effort to reach millions.
Rtir.com says, “poor authors work alone, rich authors have a team.” And if you have a disability and want to start your business as a speaker there are many resources out there. Email me for assistance. People with disabilities own more companies than people without disabilities.
My story delivers my message to end the stigma on mental illness. When I studied Abnormal Psychology in college, I saw pictures of people that had schizophrenia. Those pictures were the opposite of me so I believed I did not have a mental illness. We have a false image of what mental illness looks like.
In the book, “Change your brain Change your life,” the doctor says that 49% of Americans will experience a mental illness at least once in their life.” After my speech people tell me that they are shocked that I have a mental illness because of the way I look. If I didn’t tell anyone that I have a mental illness, no one would know. I’m not embarrassed in any way so it’s easy for me to tell my story. I care more about healing people than I do about a little embarrassment.
You will be a more memorable speaker if your story delivers a message. Use your steps to greatness as a way to inspire others to be great.
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