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One step closer


It was a glorious sunny day.

I took my coat off walking along the beach - and it was still only January. I LOVE to walk without a coat. I can’t tell you how that lifted my spirits and filled with me with joy, freedom and anticipation of more days like that to come.

What are the little things that give you joy? How can you include those into your speaking and story?

They might just be vignettes rather than stories, but when the image they conjure for your audience resonates with them, they’ll recognise that at some level you’re kindred spirits, bringing them one step closer.

When they see you as a kindred spirit they’ll know you’re much more likely to understand them and your challenges - and isn’t that what we’re all looking for in someone you do business with?

What can you tell your audience about you to bring them one step closer?


Need help to explore this further? Get in touch to arrange a call


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Thereโ€™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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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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Those funny little things

What are some of the funny little things that give you joy?

On my morning dog walks I used meet a couple with 2 Newfoundlands – they’re the big fluffy dogs, the size of a small bear.

What gives me joy is that whenever the brown one spots me, she bounds across in a very ungainly way to see me, like a child running to see a favourite aunt. Sad or stupid – maybe, but it never fails to bring a smile to my face.

They’ve moved away recently so I may never see that dog again, so I’ll hold onto that joyful little memory for moments when I need it.

I’ve stored that memory away for possible use in a future talk or presentation.

What sad or stupid things bring you joy? And how can you bring those into your presentations, to show your audience a bit more about you?




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...

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100 years of stories

In August 2021 Hayling Island Sailing Club celebrated its centenary year.

Imagine the stories that have taken place there.

Stories of high wind, no wind; races becalmed, races flattened by squalls; boats of all sizes, old and new.

And of course the people.

How many stories take place there every single day?

A member myself for 20 years, imagine how many stories I alone have. The sailing, the beach and the parties. Don’t get me started - I’ll never stop!*

So what about you? Where do you hang out? Are you a member of a club or organisation? Or somewhere you often go?

What are your stories of triumph and disappointment, of trying new things and meeting new people? Of beautiful sunsets or washed out picnics?

Sharing stories about how and where you spend your time tells your audience something about you and gives them something to resonate with.

So what’s your story?


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


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Opposites Attract

It’s often said that opposites attract – and the same can be said when you’re looking for your stories.

Your stories need to illustrate a point that you’re making, so instead of looking for examples of when you were a shining example of that point, find a time where you were the opposite.

If you’re talking about resilience, look for a time in your past when you gave up on something. If you’re talking about mindfulness, look for a time when you were anything but. If you’re talking about creating clever designs, look for a time when you came up with a less than clever design.

Not only will these stories show your vulnerability, they will also give you the opportunity to go on to share how you moved from those places of ‘how not to’ to your current place of ’how to. After all, that’s what your clients want to learn.



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

She has...

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First impressions

I exchanged a look of shared amusement with the woman behind the counter.

Another customer having a conversation on his mobile phone. He wasn’t being loud and there was nothing untoward about his conversation.

It was just that he was on a mobile phone.

One of the first ones that looked more like a leather-covered brick. It was the late 1980’s and mobile phones were a rare phenomenon.

So our amused look carried a ‘Get you!’ message and tbh, my thoughts were something like ‘What a poser!’ (My problem, I know – not his).

Fast forward 30+ years and seeing someone on their mobile is rarely story-worthy topic – but your stories about your first impressions of innovation can be.

Sharing how your attitude has changed, etc. can add humour and context to your message, can illustrated how thoughts and attitudes change, etc.

What’s your first memory of mobile phones?


For more ideas for other stories, check out the Story Prompt Cards...
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