My Guilty Secret

We all have one.  Something we’re ashamed to admit to.  Something that we pretend to do or to not do.  It doesn’t necessarily make you a bad person; unless your guilty secret is that you torment puppies, in which case you’re going straight to hell, make no mistake.  But most people’s guilty secrets don’t involve anything particularly earth shattering, and often the only person who’ll care about it is them.  I’m hoping mine falls into this category. I’ve been a voracious reader ever since I learned how to do it.  From the age of six or seven I devoured the Secret Seven, Famous Five, Faraway Tree, Mallory Towers, basically anything Enid Blyton wrote: she was my hero.  At my first primary school we would have to line up at the teacher’s desk to read our current reading book to her.  I was the precocious child who helped the struggling children by reading the words upside down and whispering them to the child currently in the hot-seat.  As if the teacher couldn’t hear too! My love of reading continued throughout my childhood and into adulthood.  I’ve tried most genres and while I have a particular love for historical fiction: Phillipa Gregory now rules over Enid Blyton, I read widely and often.  In my almost forty years of reading (oh, cool, a way to appear younger!) I’ve only started and failed to finish three fiction books: The Hobbit, The Great Gatsby, and The Birthing Place.  The first two I just couldn’t get on with, and to be honest I did wonder if I would still be alive by the time I ever finished The Hobbit, and...

Story Power!

“If history were taught as stories, it’d never be forgotten” said Rudyard Kipling, which seemed a fitting opening statement for a talk entitled: ‘Stories Sell’.   As a stand-in for the scheduled speaker at my monthly networking event, I’d had little time to prepare, and I wasn’t convinced it was going to be the best talk I’d ever given. I knew there was no point in trying to memorise a script, so I decided to string some stories together, and use some of them to illustrate the point I was attempting to make: that stories sell better than facts.  I started with some stories about my love of stories, and then I chose three people from the audience who’ve used stories as part of their ‘two minutes’ at the networking event, and retold their stories.  All three stories were ones I’d heard them tell over a year ago, so I was able to illustrate the potency of storytelling. I ended the talk by taking the audience through the process for constructing a ‘Client Success Story’; if you don’t want to broadcast for the full time of a talk, throw in a practical exercise 🙂  And that was that.  Some questions, and the usual polite applause.  Followed by some lovely comments. I haven’t always found that my talks have had much in the way of longevity, so while I made sure that I could attend the next event, I didn’t expect there to be much follow up: a month is a long time in business, after all.  I couldn’t have been more wrong!  Someone told me the story of a colleague who’d been...