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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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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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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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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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