A few months ago a colleague asked me to attend one of his story slams, which involve people coming up on stage (or to the front of a group) and, well, telling stories. For one reason or another I hadn’t been able to make the slams, but thanks to some prodding from another friend (so said that I could use the video) I went this past Thursday.

It was held at Benjamin’s Desk, a coworking facility in Center City. I signed in, forked over a sawbuck, and was reminded that the topic was “courage”. I’d rehearsed a short talk on the subject, but forgot that it had to be about business. Shit. I had about fifteen minutes to recall something worthwhile.

There were so many possibilities, though I had to keep it (relatively) clean for the audience. I selected a great story from about thirty years ago, where the statute of limitations had long passed, and most of the principals deceased. Then I discovered that this wasn’t just a talk.

It was a competition. They had three judges, and I not only didn’t bring my swimsuit but had nothing to add about my contributions to world peace. There were about twenty or so storytellers, with really compelling tales that displayed not-inconsiderable derring-do. Mine was rather raucous.

I won.

You can see the performance here:

And many thanks to Benjamin’s Desk:

And Startup Story Slam:

I’m ready for my close-up, Mr. DeMille!

Jim Shulman