Secrets of Storytelling and Public Speaking with LaToya Smith | PoP 484

Secrets of Storytelling and Public Speaking with LaToya Smith | PoP 484

Do you know what your story is? Do you want to share it with the world? How can storytelling benefit you?

In this podcast episode, Joe Sanok speaks to LaToya Smith about storytelling and public speaking.

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Meet LaToya Smith

LaToya Smith

LaToya is the owner of LCS Counseling and Consulting Agency in Fortworth Texas. She firmly believes that people don’t have to remain stuck in their pain or the place they became wounded. She encourages her clients to be active in their treatment and work towards their desired outcome.

She has also launched Strong Witness which is a platform designed to connect, transform, and heal communities through the power of storytelling.

Visit LaToya’s website and connect with her on Facebook, Instagram, Strong Witness Instagram, and Twitter.

In This Podcast


  • Can you hear us?
  • The importance of storytelling to LaToya
  • Mindsets that get in the way of good storytelling and public speaking
  • Telling your story
  • LaToya’s first storytelling event
  • Prepping your brain for the storytelling webinar and Killin’ It Camp

Can you hear us?

In collaboration with Practice of the Practice, LaToya ran the “Can You Hear Us” webinar which featured five black leaders coming together to share their personal stories of how they dealt with racism. Hearing their stories and voices was amazing and really special to LaToya. It’s one thing to read these stories but to actually see the pain in their faces and hear it in their voices allows you to connect more emotionally. That is the power of story… we may have different experiences but you can connect to the emotion.

The importance of storytelling to LaToya

I’m feeling like a superhero almost, because I can own what I’m saying, and it’s mine, and I’m in control of this narrative. And I think so many times in life, if we just sit back and say nothing, everybody else controls the narrative but us.

LaToya started Strong Witness because she had a story inside of her that was bound up for years and it created a lot of pain and struggle. Once she started telling her story, she realized that it was the easiest thing and she wishes that she had done it years ago so now she wants to help other people to share their stories. Story has always been in LaToya but she didn’t know how strong it was and didn’t fully embrace it. Shifting and understanding how powerful story is has become a bigger part of LaToya’s story and is now a part of her vision.

Theories are important but she would rather hear somebody’s story because that is what’s going to help her connect. LaToya realized how important storytelling was to her when she saw the power it has. When she begins to speak, it brings so much power and ownership that she wants to tell the story over and over.

Mindsets that get in the way of good storytelling and public speaking

I know so many good therapists. I know so many great people with great ideas, but we never get to hear about it or the world doesn’t get to hear about it because they freeze up at the idea of getting on camera or being recorded.

As soon as you say the words ‘recorded’ or ‘live’ this nervousness or sense of anxiety falls over people. A little bit of nervousness is good because it means that you respect what you’re doing but it can sometimes be crippling and almost paralyzing.

We’re made of stories, we’ve been telling them all day long since we were kids. The way that we should communicate in presentations should be the same way, especially when you’re passionate about a topic. You want to be able to get to a comfortable place that is like talking to your friends, not being an authority with the goal of perfectionism.

Telling your story

I can listen, I can read your bullet points and you can tell me the end result but if you give me the story why you’re doing it, now I’m locked in, now you’ve connected to my emotions, now I want you to win.

We get captivated by stories we’re drawn in to but people are also drawn into us. Nobody can tell your story like you because you know your why, you know the struggle, you know what you want to convey and the idea of a story gives your vision greater meaning.

LaToya’s first storytelling event

Just the idea of that whole room and that whole space being changed, and everybody being changed by the power of story, that let me know this is something amazing.

LaToya was nervous because she had never done this before and it was a really heavy topic. It was Child Abuse Prevention and Sexual Assualt Awareness Month and she began to reach out to people in her community to share their experiences related to that. These people told the part of their story that was most important to them and felt so liberated, not knowing before that they could tell their stories like that. Even the people listening were able to connect with them and had a new respect and greater understanding of these issues, even if they weren’t victims themselves.

Prepping your brain for the storytelling webinar and Killin’ It Camp

  • What are you passionate about?
  • Where do you see yourself going?
  • What is your reason why?
  • How do you want to communicate the above?

Register here for Online Storytelling: How to rock out FB Live, social media, and online presentations with LaToya Smith

Useful Links:

Meet Joe Sanok

private practice consultant

Joe Sanok helps counselors to create thriving practices that are the envy of other counselors. He has helped counselors to grow their businesses by 50-500% and is proud of all the private practice owners that are growing their income, influence, and impact on the world. Click here to explore consulting with Joe.

Thanks For Listening!

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