Raise your hand if you joined Toastmasters to become more confident presenting.  Me, me, me…that was and still is my goal. When my body took over and started trembling during my first speech, I was shocked and felt betrayed…what was happening?!

Now, almost three years after that fateful Ice Breaker, I realize becoming more confident presenting is a special blend of many ingredients. Presence, timing, STORYTELLING, to name a few; each one of us having our own unique recipe.

The power of a story hit home when I heard Barbara Clark’s personal account of Juneteenth.  (If you haven’t had a chance to go see her DO!)  I had never heard of Juneteenth, nor had I ever heard a story told with such purpose.  Her story FOREVER changed the way I think of FREEDOM, and I wish everyone could hear it.

Would you believe, this wasn’t even at one of her Storytelling Concerts. This was at her workshop “Storytelling Professionally: What you need to know”. In preparation, Mrs. Clark had asked us to bring a 2-3 minute story. I feebly raised my hand and shared mine. When I finished, she asked, “Why are you telling us this? What does it tell us about you?” Oh boy, missing
ingredient #1!

People learn through stories.  It’s such a simple statement, yet such a complex process.  Much like a family recipe that has been handed down generation after generation.

“Mallery’s Mix” is still a formula in the making, and maybe it always will be. I know for sure; it now starts with the spicy voice of Mrs. Clark in my head saying…”Why are you telling us this”?

Mallery McMurtrey
Mallery McMurtrey


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