National Storytelling Week Celebrated: Memorable stories from Speakers’ visits
In the wise words of Steve Jobs, “The most powerful person in the world is the story teller. The Storyteller sets the vision, values and agenda of an entire generation that is to come”. At Speakers Corner, we have the joy of listening to some of the best storytellers in the world! In celebration of National Storytelling Week, we have put together a list of some of the most memorable stories from speakers who have come into the office, sat on our couch and inspired us.
A senior columnist for the Financial Times and the presenter of BBC Radio 4’s More or Less, Tim Harford uses economics to demonstrate new angles to business problems. In his presentations, Tim argues that, in order to understand how disappointing recent technology is (and how much promise it holds out), one needs to look back to previous real and imagined revolutions, where demography, economics, organizational behaviour and psychology are all vital factors.
Tim came in and sat with us on the couch over a cup of tea to share his story. Some of the main points we took away included the barriers enhancing creativity, and forecasting. It really stuck with us that the types of people who accurately forecast aren't the ones that actually know anything, instead are the ones who are open to having their minds changed - and can be ANYONE - farmers in Kentucky or rickshaw drivers in India.
As Head of Digital and Communities at Innocent, Helena sheds an entertaining light on Innocent’s approach to social media and customer service, illustrating how a willingness to communicate openly and naturally with the people who buy their stuff has proved invaluable to Innocent’s digital success.
Going behind the scenes as it were into Innocent's HQ, the journey Helena went on to build one of the most famous social media brands was fascinating. We were captivated from the onset as she shared her highs, such as the 4th floor stapler, National Penquins Awareness Day and the #dogsatpollingbooth which trended at no.1 in the 2015 General Election was fascinating, and the lows too. Delivered with humour, humility and contriteness where mistakes had been made, still to this day we recite the stories she shared.
Darren Campbell MBE is a British Olympic athlete, sprinter and sports coach and plays an integral part of the coaching team for Cardiff City F.C. As a speaker, Darren is engaging and passionate; he is heavily involved in the Youth Sport Trust; and he promotes sports for children and at schools.
Demonstrating the power a story can have on an individual, we casts our minds back a few years ago to when Darren joined us on the sofa, taking us on a roller-coaster of emotions culminating the victory of the 4x100m Men’s relay at the Sydney Olympics. He had gone through so much to get to the top of the podium with a gold medal around his neck, there had been so many blocks in the road that he had to overcome, we erupted in to applause as he described the feeling of winning gold!
Steve presents for Countryfile and Springwatch and previously captained the London 2012 Paralympic Wheelchair Rugby team. He speaks openly about his own inspiring journey of injury and recovery, life’s pressures and aiming for excellence.
It was a fresh day last December when Steve visited us in the office for a couch session. His energy and enthusiasm was contagious as he shared his story from a troublemaker in school to working his way up to being the regional manager in France and Spain for a hotel report group All was well in Steve’s life until he tripped and fell from a balcony which broke his back. The rollercoaster left us picturing Steve despairing in hospital, until he had a 2nd calling in life, which was Wheelchair Rugby. We went back up to the highs of captaining his country at the London 2012 Paralympics, and now presenting Countryfile, Springwatch, The One Show, plus a jaunt trekking across Vietnam. It was enthralling from start to finish.
Former MI5 intelligence officer and famed whistleblower, Annie Machon and her partner David Shayler resigned in the 1990s to call out spies’ incompetence and crimes and went on the run. Now a writer, media pundit, campaigner and keynote speaker, Annie educates both on the inner workings of the government, and on the wider need for increased openness and accountability in both public and private sectors.
When Annie came in to share our couch, we really didn’t know what to expect. We were drawn in to her story, bravery and knowledge on the ins and outs of the government. Blowing the whistle led to Annie and David goign on the run across Europe and lived in Paris as an exile. Annie's insider knowledge and connections make her voice worth hearing on numerous topics including prohibition, world politics, hacking and the media. Annie has such as fascinating story, and one unlike any we’ve heard before!
Brendan Hall delivers an incredibly inspiring story, based on his experience as a professional yacht racing skipper where he led and developed a team of novice sailors to achieve unprecedented success. His unique story enables businesses to build ironclad trust with clients and teams, thrive in uncertainty, empower teams and develop a growth mindset.
We knew from the onset that Brendan was going to have an interesting story, what we didn’t expect was his manner and presence, and incredibly grabbing speech complete with video content. He skippered the Clipper 'round the world race' - the only amateur yacht race in the world at the tender age of 27. . Managing diverse personalities and skill sets, Brendon’s trust, growth mindset and empowerment created a team he could leave behind as he went to the rescue of a fellow yacht – twice! The struggles he faced to overcame and win the race had us riding every wave with him. An incredibly memorable story, it’s one worth hearing.
A great speaker will skilfully enthral their audience as they whisk them off on a memorable journey into the subject matter. At specific points, the speaker will pull the audience back to the key learnings and take-aways for the individual to remember.
A great story provides memories that have longevity and are re-told through the most treasured of marketing channels – word of mouth.
So what story will you leave your audience with at your next event?
For further information or to book one of our speakers, call us on +44 (0)20 7607 7070+44 (0)20 7607 7070 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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