I have been fortunate to have a stable and extremely satisfying career as a development executive and producer for over twenty years. I often spend my days not on sets but reading, taking meetings, strategizing, and reworking story. I have built a successful career on the adage “writing is rewriting.”
The stories I have the privilege of hearing are what bring me the most joy in my day to day. I don’t only mean the thousands of screenplays, treatments, outlines, and books I’ve read during my tenure. Or even the films and series I’ve developed or produced. It’s the gratification I experience during a general meeting with a fellow creative. It’s the moment I ask the person in front me to share their story. The neat details of what has put them on their path. I always appreciate the vulnerability and generosity it takes to tell one’s personal story. Yet, after hearing thousands of folks share their “elevator pitch” of who they are, why they are here and what they want to do next I have come to intimately understand there is an art to ‘personal storytelling.’
As the head of production companies, I’ve also had the opportunity to participate in panels, conferences, and networking groups. What I have settled on is that professionals in any field need to be able to tell their story in their own distinct, concise, and authentic voice. To be able to convey elegantly, simply, and passionately who they are, what they want and why they should be the one to have it. Before the deck, the pitch, the market research, or the fundraising ask, the gatekeepers standing between you and a ‘yes’, need to know you’re trustworthy, confident, capable and the best person to do it. Whatever “do it” means for you. How you tell your story in the first two – five minutes will largely determine what happens next. Taking from the tenets of Hollywood storytelling, I’m ready to share everything I’ve learned and know deep in my soul about how to develop a strong narrative that will set you up for success. Hone your story. Own Your Narrative. Meet Your Purpose.