#IDEAWorld Recap, Part 1: Bo Eason

Just in case you missed my first #IDEAWorld update post, The People, you can find it here.

You know that a speaker made an impression when they become the standard by which all other speakers are judged. It is a rare occurrence, and when it happens, you want to hold on to the experience, relive it if possible, so that you can draw out every bit of inspiration and knowledge.

Such was the case when I saw Bo Eason, first as the Keynote Speaker at IDEA World Fitness Convention, then in a session entitled Why Your Personal Story is Your Most Valuable Asset.

Sessions - IDEA World Fitness Convention

Bo Eason was one of the best, if not the best, speakers I have ever seen. His keynote speech was simple, yet powerful: Bo telling his story. He is never still as he shares his childhood hopes and dreams of becoming an NFL safety, no, not just a safety, the best NFL safety. He moves constantly, striding, jumping, even running on stage, as he tells the story of his plan for achieving his goals, the obstacles he had to overcome, and finally his success. He uses his body, his voice, and his connection with his audience to motivate them to learn to tell their own story. He was mesmerizing.

Session - IDEA World

I was so inspired by Bo’s speech that I decided to go to his session and learn how to tell my own story. Bo says that the information age is over, and for the rest of our lives (and probably our children’s lives too), the power and the influence will belong to the Storyteller. We are all striving to connect with each other, and the ones who can tell their story, can share themselves, will be the leaders. He encouraged us to learn how to move with power and confidence, and to connect with our audience, one person at a time.

This was a workshop, so, after a story or two, Bo had us spend some time writing our own story. He said that our story should be from a time when we were challenged, embarrassed, or hurt so deeply that it changed our lives and helped to make us the person we are today. These things frequently happen when we’re young, between nine and 12 years old, and leave a lasting impression.

As I wrote out my story, I had a revelation. When I write my blog, I tell you all a lot. You know about my dogs, and my grandsons. I shared my experience with my excisional biopsy, my first colonoscopy, and exercise induced asthma. You know my feelings on animal rights and being vegan, and I have even talked about my husband and his health (a little anyway, that’s really his story to tell). But have I really been generous (as Bo would put it) with my story? Or have I been a little stingy?

I think I tend to hold back a little on expressing my feelings. Not just in my writing either, though that’s what counts here. I have this little reserved part of me that holds back, keeps my emotions in check, and I have a difficult time opening up and sharing myself. After hearing Bo speak, and starting to learn how to tell my story, I realize that I want to open up more. It is something that I intend to work on. I think it will not only improve my writing and my blog, it will make me a better wife, leader, and maybe even a better person.

Anyway, after spending several minutes writing out our stories, Bo had us find a partner and take turns telling each other our story. Fortunately, I was with Tiffany, and it was a little easier speaking to someone I already knew, if only for a few hours.  But then Bo tricked us and had us tell our story two more times, to two different people, each time paring it down a little to be as concise as possible. One thing I learned is that while I can write my story pretty well, actually telling it, out loud, will take some practice.

Sessions - IDEA World Fitness Convention

As you can see, Bo Eason has had quite an effect on me. After seeing him speak, I told Alan all about it, both because I was excited and because Alan is a huge San Francisco 49er fan (Bo finished his career with the 49ers). Of course, I told my husband all about Bo’s Jerry Rice story, both because Alan’s a fan and because the story is such a demonstration of the power of commitment, dedication and hard work. Then, as I was preparing to write this, I googled Bo to gather some information, and found an old YouTube video where Bo was telling the story. Not only did I get Alan to watch it with me, we both sat through the entire 40 minute video, once again entranced listening to Bo Eason.

I’ll leave you with one tip from Bo that will help you write your own story. The more personal you make it, the more universal it becomes. Don’t be afraid to dig out that most intimate story, even if it is embarrassing, or humiliating, or revealing, because when you share that story, your audience will relate to it. Your story is the most powerful thing that you have.

I am working on my story, and I will share it when I’m ready. It is part of my commitment to becoming a more generous person.

Are you a storyteller? Have you ever seen or listened to a speaker who changed your life?

Stayed tuned this week for more recaps from IDEA: The (Other) Sessions, The Expo, and The Food.

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  1. says

    Loved this Debbie & heard about him from others that he was their fav speaker! I do keep a lot back from my readers & honestly not sure if I will ever share but ya never know! I have to click on all your links when I have time. :) Thank you!!!

    Trouble with comment luv again…. http://www.truth2beingfit.com

    • says

      Thank you, but I’ll bet with a little thought you can find something compelling in your 50+ years. It might be something that you never wanted to share because it is too personal, but it’s there. It took me a little while (because we were in the session kind of on the spot) but once you start working it through, you will find multiple stories.
      Debbie Woodruff recently posted…#IDEAWorld Recap, Part 1: Bo EasonMy Profile

  2. says

    You are already such a natural storyteller Debbie! This is for sure my weakness. I like info so have to remember to weave in narrative. Once upon a time I remembered to add stories. Ha ha Tell us more of the Bo tips as my train was arriving as he was speaking so I missed the opening
    KymberlyFunFit recently posted…Replace Health Cares with Healthy Habits (from BlogHer)My Profile

    • says

      Thank you, I try. Click on the link to his video, that was much the same story as his keynote. His session was just having us work to discover how to bring out our story. We all have them. Like he said in another video that I watched, in 50+ years, you can certainly pin down several stories. You don’t try to tell your whole life, you just pick a few moments in time. I’ll bet you’re better at it than you think.
      Debbie Woodruff recently posted…#IDEAWorld Recap, Part 1: Bo EasonMy Profile

  3. says

    I like to think I am a story teller, but maybe I just talk a lot?!?! lol

    And I was THERE – But at the EXPO only. I was the chick constantly screaming. I even manages to scream: SUCK IT Dr. OZ! lol! I cannot believe you didn’t hear that. LOL!

  4. says

    I always think of my story as being boring – who would want to hear it? But like you said we all have a story that makes us unique. What we think is boring may not be to someone else. Sounds like a great speaker!
    Angela @ Happy Fit Mama recently posted…Picky Bars Giveaway!My Profile

  5. says

    Very interesting. I’ve been thinking about my blog and the posts I like versus that ones that are most popular and the types of blog posts I like to read. If I like a blogger’s “story” I will read whatever they write, but I do enjoy random posts with recipes, workout ideas, product reviews, etc.
    Coco recently posted…Take A Summer Vacation With The New Chobani FlavorsMy Profile

  6. says

    I definitely believe we all have a story {or stories} to tell. Sometimes it can be hard opening up, but I have noticed that when I really open up on my blog, that’s when people leave lots of comments because they connect and relate to my story.
    Maureen recently posted…Totally UnpreparedMy Profile

  7. says

    It’s so empowering when you listen to and meet a speaker that has a lasting affect on you. It opens your mind so much bigger that what you thought it to be.

    Thanks for sharing this today :)
    Kierston @candyfit recently posted…Living MY New Normal…My Profile

  8. says

    Bo sounds like a great speaker!!!
    I don’t know that I’ve ever thought much about my story – not sure there is a lot to tell. Now I think I will give it some real thought and maybe even write it (even if just for myself!).
    Kim recently posted…When you Make a Mistake, Make a Good One!!My Profile

  9. says

    I wish my story was simple. I have major stories to tell. But don’t know that anyone would want to hear it. Lots of heart ache, struggle and perseverance. You’re the first person that has just made me cry thinking about it (seriously. just now.). its a good thing. maybe its time for it to come out. the hard part, will be to condense it.
    Christine | Oatmeal Bowl recently posted…Lake Tahoe Marathon Training: Week 9 of 15My Profile

  10. says

    You’re so right Debbie, stories are the best way to connect with people. Just think about when we sit down and talk to our friends over coffee; we don’t share facts, we share stories. I need to work on weaving more story telling into my blog posts too!
    Can’t wait to hear more about the conference!
    Tamara recently posted…10-Week 40+ Female Online Group Training Registration now open!My Profile


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