Speech stories: Yeah, they’re kind of a big deal.

I wonder if when Marlee Matlin copy-and-pasted the link to my Missourian story and pressed “Tweet” she realized what an impact it would have on me.

Like pulling a Love, Actually Laura Linney move in the middle of Speakers Circle.

My story was completed in just 30 minutes. THIRTY MINUTES! That’s the shortest it’s ever taken me to write a 10-inch story! And even though I had misgivings on what I should have included, immediately after sending it on to the ACE Hold, I was altogether satisfied with how it turned out.

Meh, it’s a speech story. No big shakes.

THEN MARLEE MATLIN TWEETED IT.

She has 158,808 followers on Twitter. That means that over 150,000 people in this world had direct access to what I wrote in 30 minutes time. And not just any 150,000 people: 158,808 people who have an interest in Matlin and put forth the effort to follow what she’s doing. Which means, essentially, people who will be glad to read what I wrote because they weren’t at her speech.

This was another “ah-hah!” moment I’ve had about why journalism is so important. I never put any importance on covering speeches because I assumed the only people interested actually went to the presentation. Now that my story is global (well, it always has been, but now the subject of it has pushed out there even further), I know why speech stories are such a big deal. They give people access to presentations they may not have been able to attend.

So thank you, Marlee. You haven’t just taught me about overcoming barriers and living my life based on what I can do rather than can’t —

(As well as how fabulous a West Wing pollster can be, thanks to Joey Lucas on The West Wing)

— you’ve also helped me develop my understanding of journalism as a whole. Grazie!

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  1. That’s awesome! :D Let me know if you ever find out how many-ish views you got!

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