WORKING WITH BUSINESS
When I was travelling in Vietnam a poet took my wife and I to a very special restaurant which, he said, served the most exquisite goat meat. I have to say I found the meat rather chewy and not to my taste but I smiled politely and finished my plate. Later as we left the restaurant he said he was so pleased we had enjoyed our meal because it was in fact DOG MEAT!!! He hadn’t wanted us to bring our English prejudice to the table. I was appalled and told him that I hadn’t really enjoyed it that much and he shouldn’t have lied, to which he merely shrugged his shoulders and laughed and said “Even if you didn’t enjoy your meal, at least you have the story.”
And sure enough I have told that story so often that I’m now glad he took me to the restaurant. The story has proved to be far more enduring than the experience. Nothing beats a great story.
STORIES IN BUSINESS
Stories are a powerful way of communicating but how many businesses harness that power effectively? Have you ever found yourself sitting at a business convention listening to yet another endless powerpoint presentation packed full of useful data that within a few days, research shows, you will have forgotten 90% of? And have you wondered why it is that the one thing you did remember and repeat later was some speaker’s hilarious anecdote?
I am convinced that I can teach business leaders how to make their communications memorable and more effective by harnessing the innate power of story. Stories can show values in action, they can convey the subtleties of culture and show people ‘how things are done round here’. They are the tool by which you share your vision and your knowledge. You can use them to inspire and motivate your people. Fostering a storytelling culture in a business gives it a very strong sense of identity and purpose.
There are two aspects to great communication; there’s what you say and then there’s how you say it. Content and delivery. As a writer and actor I’m uniquely placed to help with both. And after years of working in business and teaching storytelling at London Metropolitan University I have developed techniques all of my own.
The work I do is unconventional and challenging. I believe we learn best by doing and not by being passive.
Confuscius said “Tell me and I will forget, show me and I may remember, INVOLVE me and I will UNDERSTAND”.
CREDENTIALS AND LINKS
I’ve been working with business on a freelance basis since 1995 and yet I do not see myself as a consultant. I have never advertised and all my work has come from word of mouth and recommendation and clients include Microsoft, Kingfisher, Experian, Nokia, Phillips, Bekaert, McKinsey and many more. I graduated in Law with French Law from the London School of Economics and University of Strasbourg (France). I also obtained a degree in Theatre Studies from the University of Strasbourg and studied French Language and Civilisation at the University of Lyon (France). For many years I was secretary to the board of directors of Ultrafine Chemicals, a small pharmaceutical research company. My education and experience leaves me uniquely placed to create bridges between the worlds of business and the arts.
I have been fortunate to work as a coach for: