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Read like you’ve never read before

‘You’ve taught me how to read properly.’

Honoured to be asked to read a popular bible reading at my niece’s wedding, I wanted to make it a bit different. I wanted to read it so that people would really listen as they’d possibly never listened before and for 1 person at least as this feedback shows, I achieved that.

How had I done that?

I had to read it as if I’d never read it before – but as with all good presentations, that required practise.

I experimented with which words and phrases to emphasise; I practised looking out at the congregation; I practised so that I could read it without my emotions tripping me up.

It’s the same with your own presentations. You need to practise so much that it sounds as though you just made it up.


Need help with that? Get in touch to arrange a call.


Rachel Maunder is a communication skills and speaker coach and professional speaker.


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Reflecting on the past quarter

What stories do you tell yourself when you review each quarter?

Are they mostly of success or of things not achieved?

It can be so easy to tell ourselves we could or should have done more but is that really true?

What DID you achieve? Start a list and add everything you can think of, however seemingly small.

What got in the way of the others you didn’t quite manage?

While I’m not recommending completely letting yourself off the hook for jobs not done well, I AM recommending rewriting your story. We’re wired to be self-critical even when we don’t need to be.

If you did the best you could during a challenging period then make that your story.

If actually you were awesome, then make that your story.

Rewrite your story with a positive spin and start the new quarter with that in mind.


Book a call with me now to see how I can help.


Rachel Maunder is a communication skills and speaker coach and professional...

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There’s more than one way

How many ways can you share your story?

Owning and sharing your story is empowering.

Empowerment breeds confidence and with greater confidence comes a willingness to try something new that previously seemed too challenging.

If sharing your story through speaking seems too high a mountain right now, what would feel more comfortable?

Here are just a few ideas for you to consider which one feels most achievable right now:

  • Social media posts – bring a bit of yourself, your successes, failures and aspirations through stories of what you’ve been up to.
  • Your About Me page – definitely include how you came to do what you do and why.
  • Tell some client stories: how you helped them and how that made you feel.
  • Guest on podcasts.
  • Take opportunities to be part of a panel.
  • Journal – only you get to see this.

How will you share your next story?


Need more clarity on that story? Let’s have a chat. 

Book a call with me now to see how I can help.


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Two good reasons for sharing stories

I’d just finished work on a cold wintry evening and was looking forward to getting home.

And then I noticed that my car had 4 flat tyres. Yes, 4!

I was working with juvenile offenders at the time and they’d taken the set of darts from our centre and put them through my tyre walls – just for fun.’

I’d forgotten about this story until a conversation with a colleague who had also worked with young offenders and shared a similar story, triggering my memory of mine.

With that shared experience on the table, our conversation picked up pace because we’d found a connection.

So 2 good reasons for sharing stories:

     1. One person’s story triggers another

     2. Shared stories increase rapport.


So when can you get together with someone for a conversation? The stories will probably come naturally and remember to make a note of them.

If you need help to reconnect with those stories, download my FREE pdf 7 Simple...

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How fast?

How fast should you speak when you only have a short time to deliver your message?

Generally speaking, speeding up in order to cram more content into your allocated time isn’t the answer. You’ll leave your audience exhausted and confused.

But sometimes adding a bit more pace is absolutely the right thing to do.

Pace is a great indicator of the mood you want to convey so if you have something exciting to say then speed up a bit.

When you have something more serious then slowing your pace helps drive that message home. Even separating out your words gives time for your audience to process what you’re saying.

Either way, keep your sentences fairly short. Too long a sentence delivered at speed becomes way too hard to process. Too long a sentence delivered with gravitas loses impact.

In summary, use pace to add quality, not quantity.


Need help with taking your speaking to the next level? Book a call with me to see how I can help.



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Who’s in the audience?

I’m frequently asked questions about what kind of language should speakers use, should they temper their regional accents and which stories they should include in presentations.

The list could go on: What specific content, which key point to highlight, whether to use humour and if so, what kind of humour?

The answer is simple and always the same: it depends on who’s in the audience.

How familiar are they already with your topic? What’s their demographic? What are the similarities among them that bring them together for event?

What will appeal to them and what won’t? Are you out to impress or to shock? What do you want them to do as a result of your presentation?

Asking these questions and adapting your presentation accordingly will help you engage with your audience much more effectively, which in turn makes it more likely that they will buy your products or services.

Why not a book a call with me now to see how I can help?
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Listen and Watch

We hear a lot about Show and Tell but how often do we stop to listen and watch?

When you listen and watch what’s happening in the world around you, you open yourself up to whole new set of stories.

What are people doing and saying?

How are they responding to each other and interacting?

What’s the story that’s unfolding before you?

What happens next and how does it end?

Taking the time to be an observer in life also sets you on the path to being a great storyteller.

When you tell a story based on your own observations, it gives you the opportunity to add your own take on what you saw and heard, giving your audience an opportunity to learn more about you as a person.

So do take time to Listen and Watch, and just like in Show and Tell, share what you’ve heard and seen.


Rachel Maunder is a communication skills and speaker coach and professional speaker. 

She has been in the world of competent communication, in different guises, for more than 30 years...

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Was it worth the risk?

What risks have you taken?

Whether you’ve taken a risk in your career or business, with your own safety, or in any other way, you will definitely have taken risks.

What were the consequences?

Whether they turned out well or not, there’s a still a story to tell for every risk you’ve taken.

And when you tell a story, you inspire someone somewhere.

Did you just leap into the unknown or were there long deliberations?

What lessons were learned and what’s your message for others around taking similar risks?

Start making a list of all the risks you remember taking. Talk to family, friends and colleagues for their input and keep adding to the list.

Then start building the stories.

The risks you take and how you deal with the outcome tells your audience something about you.

So what are your risk stories and where can you use them?


Need help with crafting those stories into your talks?
Feel free to arrange a chat. 


Rachel Maunder is a...

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Who are you becoming?

Inspired by a discussion about Michelle Obama’s amazing autobiography Becoming, I recently journaled on this: ‘The person I’m becoming is …’

I found it really empowering, which is why I’m sharing it with you and encouraging you to do the same.

If you’re new to journaling, take a pen and paper, set aside 10-15 minutes, and write in free-flow whatever comes into your head in response to those 5 words.

When you focus on who you’re becoming, you can leave your voice of doubt behind and look only at the open path ahead. It gives you permission to be kinder to yourself about the things you haven’t achieved yet or find challenging.

I’m becoming someone who manages time well, easily attracts the people I can offer most help to and someone who owns her brilliance and expertise. Definitely not there yet – but that’s the whole point. I’m still becoming.

What about you? Who are you becoming? I’d love to hear...

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Life as a delivery girl

There was no real reason to turn down the offer of a temporary job as a butcher’s delivery person.

Aged 18 with no income, and not much happening in my life at the time, the wackiness of the whole idea somehow appealed.

But I HATED it!

No Satnavs to help me find where I was supposed to go, no mobile phones to connect. Parking outside the shop on the busy street to collect the next round of orders was even harder.

The guys in the butchers thought it was hilarious. What was a GIRL doing, doing the deliveries anyway?

But I had people I couldn’t let down, so I stuck with it for the agreed time.

It’s a story I can use as an example of being up for a challenge, tenacity, loyalty, etc.

What are the forgotten stories from your background that you can use in your talks?


For help with finding those forgotten stories, check out my
Story Prompt Cards and Story Prompt Journal on the Resources page


Rachel Maunder is a communication skills and speaker...

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