What’s your story?

Each of us—from the associate working next to you to your colleague on the other side of the world—has a story to tell.

They’re drawn from life lessons, transformative experiences and personal passions. Sharing them with others can be a powerful way to connect.

This is what CapitalSpeaks is all about. Launched in our Southern California offices in late March 2016, it’s a live forum in which a handful of associates, chosen through an open audition process, courageously stepped forward to share their stories before several hundred colleagues. In the process, they inspired both the audience and themselves.

Presenting is like skydiving

Stepping on stage to talk for 10 to 15 minutes before a large audience is no small feat. But with the inherent risks come significant rewards. Speaker Mikael Arutunian describes the experience this way: “It’s like preparing to skydive. It seems terrifying, but once you jump, you realize it’s one of the best decisions you’ve ever made. I’d ‘jump’ again in a heartbeat.”

The key to the speakers’ success was lots of preparation. They met in groups and individually with a professional coach who helped bring their stories to life, so they could present them in ways that would fully engage their audience.

The power of listening

Audience members came not knowing what to expect and left powerfully moved.

LAO Digital Corporate Communications Senior Manager Brian Kandler recalls, “I work with some of the presenters but I never really knew much about them personally. I now have such respect for their willingness to share something so extraordinarily personal. And, I’m proud to work for a company that would create such an event.”