Episode 100

Creating Connections and Saving Lives Through Our Authentic Stories

A few years ago, I’m getting Morgan, a new client, ready for a high-stakes Talk. It’s a controversial one designed for a military audience. So we craft this Core Idea for his speech: The greatest epidemic of our time, is one we can’t see.

Morgan tells me, “In the military, you’re thought of as weak if you speak out about or admit any challenges about mental health. That’s why we have an epidemic of 22 veteran suicides a day in this country. I want to change that.”


“Okay,” I respond. “Let’s build this Talk to change lives… and save some too.”

His Talk goes on to be a huge success. Sharing his personal story about suicide and how to make other choices (thanks to a little-known option) has become his life’s work.

If you’re curious to know:

How can post traumatic stress-causing events change your mental story? And why does sharing your vulnerable stories inspire others to share theirs?

Then tune in as Morgan Watt joins me on the Storytelling School Podcast to talk about mental health and its effects on your story’s trajectory, how service dogs like his retriever Foley serve to change life stories, and the potential impact of very deep and dark stories on society at-large.

What you will learn in this episode:

  • How unconditional love from a dog can completely change your story
  • Why pauses are incredibly powerful in storytelling and how to use them
  • How sharing a traumatic story can inspire hope and helpful action in others

Who is Morgan Watt?

Based in Tampa, Florida, Morgan Watt is a speaker, advocate, U.S. Air Force veteran, and former airline captain. During the Gulf War, he handled detection dogs at U.S. Air Force bases worldwide. Eventually, he was invited to be part of the Secret Service detail for the President and other highly sensitive assignments with bomb dogs.

As an airline transport pilot, Morgan earned multiple type ratings and became an FAA check airman who later developed a curriculum to train pilots. He studied human services (with an emphasis on mental health and counseling) at Springfield College in Massachusetts following his 17-year career in the aviation industry.

Having served as a spokesperson for Southeastern Guide Dogs since 2016, he weaves all of his experiences with a compassionate understanding of anxiety and trauma. Morgan’s mission is to end the silent suicide epidemic among the country’s veteran and active duty service men and women.

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Traver Boehm

2-time TEDx Speaker, Author, Coach, and Founder of the Uncivilized Movement

Mo Barrett

TEDx Speaker, Anecdotist, Connector, Mischief-maker, Retired Military Commander, Keynote Speaker

Katy Stevens

Musician, Performer, Recording Artist, Voice Teacher

Greg Smith

TEDx Youngstown Organizer and Voice Coach, Chairman and CCO of Compco

Than Baardson

Entrepreneur, Speaker, Connector, CEO of Unseen, Humanitarian

Cathy Sommerville

TEDx Speaker, Coach, Advisor, Leader, Author, Vice President


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