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"Don't Sell Yourself Short!"

"After the killer was shot at LAX, they found a message in his pocket. It was a message of hate and paranoia."

Last week, 100 of us also met at a hotel near LAX at "The Message of You" Conference to give our messages. Like the gunman, many of our messages were born out of pain, sorrow, and life's difficulties. But unlike the gunman, we didn't deliver our messages with bullets -- but rather with heart stories and messages of hope committed to becoming instruments of change and inspiration.

And what changed was me...

I came to the conference as a teacher, with my workbook, and exercises, but I left as a student, profoundly affected by what I heard from the attendees.

We started the conference with "The Wheel of Messages."

We spun a game show wheel filled with different messages. Depending on what message it landed on, we had to dig into our memories to find the right story to fit that message. All of a sudden, some of life's long forgotten pivotal moments bubbled to consciousness, and people created stories on the spot to share those times where they learned a truly meaningful life lesson.

For instance, after one spin of the wheel, a little person, Diane Kawasaki, recalled a story where she took a job that caused her public humiliation. From that story, she got the title of her speech, "Don't Sell Yourself Short."

(See for yourself how a story told from our memories can spontaneously turn into something funny and wonderfully relatable - especially when it's told to convey a message. Here is the video of Diane telling this story for the FIRST time at "The Message of You" Conference)

Diane's message created a ripple effect of inspiration. The next day I got a call to speak internationally for a fraction of my normal fee -- and then I remembered Diane's words: "Don't sell yourself short."

I didn't. I refused -- and they came back with the right price. It works to state your worth. Thank you Diane!

Thank you to all of the attendees at the conference for your game-changing stories and messages; they made a difference in my life. (I'll be blogging more later to share more of those moments that made us all laugh, cry, and transform.)

And ... thank you, the people who are reading this, for all of your comments. With all the violent stories we hear on the news, I appreciate all of you who are making a difference by opening minds and hearts with your stories and messages.

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Judy's Blog

Judy Carter blogs on comedy, storytelling and public speaking techniques, using personal stories and her adventures as a stand-up comic turned motivational public speaker. Her weekly blogs are read by fans of her books, “The Comedy Bible” (Simon and Schuster) and “The Message of You” (St. Martin’s Press), which include comics, speakers, and entrepreneurs. She is also known for teaching the value of humor and storytelling to businesses as a leadership and stress reduction tool.