Monday, July 6, 2009

you always wanted to be a secretary?

Telling stories from your personal experience adds dimension to your presence as a speaker, particularly when you can inspire as well as share your depth. And it's best of all when you can work in a verbal twist to tie it all up and make a memorable phrase. Labor Secretary Hilda Solis, the first Hispanic woman to serve in the cabinet, told that kind of tale in a recent speech, according to today's New York Times. She told how a high school guidance counselor advised her mother that Hilda was better cut out to be a secretary than to go to college.
Telling that story recently at the Hunter College commencement in Manhattan, Ms. Solis roared into the microphone that she, the daughter of immigrants, did become a secretary — the nation’s labor secretary. The crowd thundered with applause.
That line--admittedly usable only by women who reach state or national cabinet posts--does one more thing only a woman speaker can do, and that's to underscore a disparity in titles that sometimes makes a secretary someone you address as "Madam Secretary." Do you have a similar laugh line that makes a point about women, their careers and aspirations? Share it in the comments!