By Celynn Erasmus, committee member, Gauteng Chapter

I picked up Year of Yes (Simon & Schuster, 2015) on my last weekend in Paris last August 2016 and could not put it down! It’s written by Shonda Rhimes, Hollywood’s most powerful woman, the mega-talented creator of Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal, The Fixer and more.

The spark for this story by Shonda Rimes is a challenge laid down by her sister: just for one year, try to say YES to the unexpected invitations that come your way. Shonda reluctantly agrees and the result is nothing short of transformative.

What I learnt from reading the book:  The importance of being more open to new experiences comes through strongly. Also, the powerful impact of setting small intentions and how we can all change our lives with one little word. Yes.

Why speakers should read Year of Yes? Speaking involves confronting your fears, certainly in my case. For instance, I was a stutterer as a child and had to learn to cope with stress to be able to find and express my authentic inner voice.

The Year of Yes is a memoir. Shonda writes all about herself and her personal experiences, perhaps coming across egotistical in parts, but on the up side, she is witty and charming. It’s an easy, light read that left me wanting to share the book with many! It had a strong role to play in my Champagne Campaign which saw me spending many weeks living in France last year.