5 Real-Life Lessons of Storytelling – Part 3, Seeing Me, Recognising You

A key ability to telling the story of how you, your business and your clients flow, is allowing your audience (whomever that is), to see you. What does that mean?

Opening up

Going back to Part 1 – Vulnerability, your ability as a speaker, storyteller, facilitator, manager, leader of an organisation is bound up with the quality of being vulnerable.
This is not a popular idea. It is often ridiculed, but we are living in an age I believe where the old rules no longer count. We are going to have to learn how to connect with each other, be co-operative and inclusive.
In allowing yourself to be vulnerable (in the right situations to start with), by doing so, people recognise that the theme of the talk, presentation, website info, or story in themselves. You recognise each other.

5 (of 11) Gateways to creating a great story

As the title suggests, here is a shortened version of the gateways that I believe help in creating that openness and learning to craft a great story that will connect with who you need to connect with.

a. Bubbles

These are memory bubbles. They can be triggered by all kinds of things. Here are a few suggestions:
First day in work, culture of the organisation, first failure, first success, first client, milestones, each year in business summarise them, values of the business, mission and vision – each part of it.

All of these give you access to stories that can be turned into great topics to speak about, to blog about to use in creating new products or attitudes to the business that you can share.

b. Use of the senses

This is essential to crafting a great story, otherwise its flat. For example, my first day as a catering manager, going way back:

I was excited, the lights were bright, each area from the kitchen to the butlers pantry had a sense of purpose and speed. People smiled and said hallo, familiar feel of the steel tables for cutting and chopping food, the sound of cranking as the dishwasher was pushed up and more crockery and cutlery was shoved into the mouth of it.

Rather than – I walked in, the lights were bright, the kitchen was busy as usual, people smiled and said hallo, I went from there to the butlers pantry and then my new desk.

It’s not personal, neither does it live. When you create great copy, bring in the senses, give people an idea of what it might feel like to do or be a part of your organisation. It is an immediate hit.

c. Life-Lines (business or personal)

When its you, it can be from the first time I baked a cake, I knew I loved to cook, through to being a Catering Manager, then a chef on boats, which led me to being a massage therapist and going on an inner journey. Weird but true.

Starting a business: was an idea around story. I knew I had to leave the large catering organisation, it was either dog eat dog to get on, or pure ambition and forgetting you are working with people, not for me. Getting an opportunity to work with the top managers of W H Smith, realising that story had traction. Changing people by it, Story connected people to people, made things personal again.

d. Turning it into a Wonder Tale

This might seem like an OMG what is she talking about moment, but the reason I say this is – when you take a tale and turn it into a wonder tale – as in a mystical journey, a strange thing happens, the underbelly, the archetypes come out of your story. It makes it a stronger tale. Whether you use this in your marketing or business story or not, its about recognising it and the power of the wonder tale in your life.

e. Using the Skeleton method

This is literally – getting the bones of the story out. Much like doing a post where you have an outline, this is about the stages of the story. For example:

• Wearing my new uniform, taking the tube to my first day at work, walking into the new Catering department, meeting managers, chefs, kitchen is busy, bright and noisy, walking around the departments – it was large and each had its own character, sitting at my desk.

What this does is lay out the story – you then flesh it out later, with details of each segment, using the senses, throwing in a part of a wonder tale. This builds the story. Creates atmosphere and engages. Where will it go?
People think they can’t do this with a business. Well they can. It gives life and offers new and valuable information about the story of the business and the people in it. People thrive on it.

It doesn’t mean that you will use the story like a wonder tale, but you might, if its appropriate. Every bit of branding that is done has a wonder tale in it. Sometimes its overt, but not always. It is there though. Don’t be frightened to go there, let the story of you and your business and your clients unfold and see how amazing it is. See what you can use, what qualities come out.



Seeing Me and Recognising You, is a corner stone to a great presentation or story. When you craft your material for an audience, using the keys for the gateways above means that you will create a memorable talk, story, lecture, or speech that will move your audience and ultimately share the wisdom of the thing you are teaching, or conveying.
I promise its more powerful. It makes a natural connection, they feel they know you better – which they do – now. It makes it easier for them to speak with you. Ultimately it is part of the process of building loyalty and expertise.


Dear Regina, thank you for commenting and I am delighted that the direction and suggestions were useful.

Cindy Fox

Jacqueline thank you! I love when I read what your sharing. It really is helping me each time I share with my people to go beyond the boring and mundane and be real, sharing the story.

Regina Byrne

Really helpful direction and suggestions here. Very useful. Thank you.

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