"I'm giving a talk," I explained to the small male child. The small male child said, "Who are you talking to?" "An audience," I said. "A large group of people." "Are they friends of yours?" "Some of them are friends. Most of them are strangers." He looked dubious. "Why are you talking to strangers?"
"What is voice? For the last two years, everyone in business is talking about story. You’ve got to tell story to attract customers. You can’t have a brand without story. You are your story. Blah-dee-blah. I’m here to tell you story alone — is not enough. You can tell a story and it can fall flat. What makes story come to life is voice. Voice is vertical. Voice requires digging deep. Voice is distinctly yours and yours alone. Here’s what voice isn’t. It isn’t cliche. It isn’t copying other people’s tried-and-true sales language (and boring us all into a mind-numbing stupor thank you very much.) It isn’t tossed-off, dry facts that dessicate the brain."
"This is what I wish for those four shivering girls in their white buttondown shirts: that they enjoy their years of youthful beauty and take them for all they are worth. May they learn that being looked at is not the same as being looked up to; and there’s a difference between someone listening to you because they want to have sex with you later, and someone listening to you because they think you have something to say. May they realize that you can come to the table on the arm of someone else, or earn your place through your own lifelong pursuit of excellence (and it’s never too late to start pursuing). The latter position puts ground beneath you. The former, not so much.
As they lose in skin elasticity, may they gain in skill + wisdom + style."