Click here to get your free copy of my 7 Simple Story Prompts

Could you repair a puncture?

I have a confession.


I’ve loved cycling since childhood but I’ve never mended a puncture.


There was always someone to do it for me – even if I paid them to do it.


I knew in theory what to do, the one time I tried I couldn’t even achieve step 1, getting the tyre off the wheel.


It was just too hard so I didn’t try again.


Until last week - when I went to a Puncture Repair Workshop. Step by guided step, I removed the tyre, removed the inner tube, replaced it and replaced the tyre. Yay!


It gave me a ridiculous boost and I felt ready for almost anything.


Why am I telling you this?


Because facing a challenge with step-by-step guidance can make it achievable.


What’s your challenge that step-by-step expert guidance could help you meet?



If it's public speaking or storytelling, I can help you. Get in touch to find out how.

If it's puncture...

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Do people really want to hear this?

‘Do people really want to hear these ordinary stories?’


This is one of the most common questions I get asked and the answer is a resounding ‘YES’.


Then comes the challenge of remembering any.


Think back to your younger years. What are some of your stories that show an aptitude for or interest in what you do now? Or for the opposite, showing how you’ve had to develop the necessary skills and are well-placed to show others how to do the same?


What about the stories that show your sense of humour, a bit of vulnerability, that show your values and the person you really are?


I know it can feel uncomfortable or embarrassing, but honestly people love them. Your stories warm people to you.



Need help to rediscover some of your stories? Let's arrange a chat.

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

She has been in the world...

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A bit of history

How often do you think about your family history and whether it’s similar or different from your life now?


I hardly ever do so I thought I’d share a bit of it here. You can decide for yourself whether you find it interesting and whether sharing some of yours might also be a valuable thing to do.


Both my parents were born to working class country people, my Mum one of 11 children and my Dad an only child. Money was scarce on both sides and most of their fruit and veg was home grown by my respective Grandads.


One Grandad was forester, and the other a taxi driver, driving a horse and trap instead of a car.


My parents met making Spitfires during the war. My Mum could never understand why that was interesting.


What parts of your family history would let your audience know more about you?


To find out how I can help with pulling out some of that history, get in touch and let’s have a chat.


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A favourite place

Do you have a favourite place? Perhaps more than one?


And what on earth does that have to do with promoting your business?


By sharing your insights on some of your favourite places and why tells your audience something about you. Do you like the bustle of a city, or a secluded island beach, or is somewhere from your childhood dear to your heart?


It doesn’t even need to be a specific location but might be some thing like the bow of a ship in a storm, the quiet and cool of a place of worship or the buzz of a busy market.


Just giving your reflections on anywhere does the job and of course at a later date you can write or speak about somewhere else. What does need to be genuine are those reflections because they’re the window to you, the person behind the business persona.


‘Your favourite place’ is just one of over 100 prompts you’ll find in my Story Prompt Cards and Story Journal.

To get the other 99 check the cards and...

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Seize the moment

Have you ever missed an opportunity and regretted it?


Mine was bungee jumping.


We’d already spent a while at the Kaiwura Bridge, New Zealand, the claimed home of bungee jumping, waiting for my daughter’s turn.


‘Oh Mum! you really should do it!’ she said, as she returned, lit up from her experience.


In that moment I decided to give it a go. Chances are I may never come back to this spot again and I wouldn’t want to live with the regret of chickening out.

But just then a coach-load of eager jumpers alighted and joined the queue.


The wait for my turn was going to be too long. We were on a schedule.


If only I’d been brave enough to say ‘yes’ when Hannah did.


15 years on, it’s probably not something I would do now but I wish I’d done it then.


What moment are you waiting to seize?


If it’s anything to do with public speaking or improving your communication...

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How many stories?

A question I’m often asked is ‘How many stories is it OK to include?


The answer of course is ‘It depends.’


It depends on the message you’re using the stories to convey. Does using more than one add value to your message and to your audience or does it water down the value of the single one you might share?


Can a talk be one long story? Again, it depends.


Some stories are powerful enough to not really need a narrative. The message or learning is so obvious that it doesn’t need to be spelt out.


Others are not and you’ll need to let the audience what you, or the main character learned from their experience within that story.


It all comes back to basics. Which stories, or parts of a story do you need to tell this particular audience to convey this particular message?




Need help with that? Let's have a chat.


Rachel Maunder is a communication...

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Living someone else’s story

Walking along the beach in glorious sunshine I chatted to a family having a picnic lunch.


‘What better way to spend Mother’s Day!’ the father exclaimed. The mother didn’t look so convinced.


It seemed he’d already been trying to persuade her to his way of thinking and there was a bit of an atmosphere.


Maybe she’d had her sights set on a different scenario – a luxury lunch served at a table-clothed table, with a glass of fizz to hand.


It made me reflect on how often we might find ourselves living someone else’s story and/or trying to persuade someone else to live the story we’ve written for them.


‘You don’t really want to….’.


‘If I was you I would…’


No right or wrong here but sometimes it’s important to note when you’re living your own story and when you’re not – and when or how you can change that.


Why not a...

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Burglars still have boundaries

Working with juvenile offenders and exploring the young people’s offending behaviour, we were discussing the impact on people when their home gets burgled.


’How do you think it feels to discover that someone’s come into your home and made a mess?’ I asked.


Jamie spoke up and became upset.


‘I would never make a mess! That’s someone’s home!’


On exploring this, in his world it was OK to take possessions (in this case TV, stereo, etc.) - because after all they’re covered by insurance – but it was crossing the line to make a mess.


I was intrigued – and learnt a lesson.




Snippets of conversations can be useful to:

  • Tell people something about your background and insights.
  • Demonstrate how we all make assumptions.
  • Show that we all have different boundaries and see things differently.


When a conversation intrigues you, note it down. You never know when it will be...

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Why would the road be wet?

Driving home recently from an outdoor party, I noticed as I was getting near to my home town that the road was wet – very wet, with puddles at the sides.


‘I wonder what’s happened here?’ I thought. ‘Perhaps there’s been a burst waterpipe.’


It was only when I realised that the roads were very wet for the final 2- 3 miles home that it dawned on me that there must have been a local downpour.


I laughed at myself for not thinking of that in the first place. I live in England after all!


But no rain had been forecast, it had stayed dry for the party and we hadn’t had rain in a few weeks so it wasn’t my first thought.


That made me think about how our experience shapes our viewpoint and perception and why it’s important to hear from people with different experiences and different perceptions.


Which is why it’s important to share your stories.



Why not a book a call with me...

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Have you hung your washing out?

As I was hanging washing out recently for the first time this year, I reflected on the joy I get from recognising those small seasonal milestones.

Whether it’s cosying up with the heating on for the first time in the autumn, to the first time I see a daffodil flowering I love the signs of change.

What about you? What are your first and last milestones?

What about other firsts and lasts? That you tried a new skill, that you achieved something you’d found challenging or the first time you visited a new place?

Sharing your firsts and lasts is yet another way of letting your audience into your world and when they can identify with those experiences, however insignificant – like hanging out washing – it helps them to connect with you.

So what are your firsts and lasts? Start making a list so that you’re never stuck for an idea.

For more ideas on stories, download my free pdf 7 Simple Story Prompts 


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