The difference between a $100 public speaker and a $1000 speaker, is $1000 stories. If you want to be a more powerful public speaker and command higher fees, you need to tell better stories. With this in mind, I spent last weekend at a 2-Day Storytelling Bootcamp run by Craig Valentine and Darren LaCroix here in Sydney, Australia.

Craig and Darren are past World Champions of Public Speaking, and this was Craig's first visit to Australia. His specialty is Storytelling, so I really wanted to go along and learn from one of the best in the world. Craig has a great storytelling system where each story incorporates these elements:

  • Curiosity.
  • Characters.
  • Escalating Conflict.
  • A Cure, usually provided by a Guru.
  • A Change in the emotion or attitude of one or more of the main characters.
  • Conversations, depicted with dialogue rather than narration.
  • A Carry-out message called a foundational phrase: short and punchy that people will remember.
  • A Callback reference to the significance of the story for the audience.

Other things to remember:

  • People won't remember what you say as much as what they see when you say it.
  • Sharing your own failures and flaws connects you with the audience.
  • Give the best lines to other people.
  • There is somebody waiting on the other side of your hurdle, so their race can begin.
  • Always be advancing the story.
  • Speak to one, but look to all.

Over the course of the workshop I worked on developing a story about my relationship with my father. We had the opportunity to get coached by Craig and Darren during the 2 days, and I was particularly fortunate to get the opportunity to present my completed story at the end of the workshop. (It was fortune rather than luck because I made it happen, by sticking my hand up at the end when everyone else was too nervous! Leaders go first. It's a confidence-building thing.)

I was already a reasonably good storyteller before the workshop, but I'm certainly much better and more confident at it now. If you want to improve your storytelling so that you can connect better with your audience and command higher speaking fees, or you just want to be able to wow them at your Toastmasters club and win the next club contest, I highly recommend Craig and Darren's Storytelling Bootcamp. They've gone back home now, and if their next workshop isn't anywhere near you your next best bet is to get Craig's Edge Of Their Seats Storytelling Home Study Course so you can learn the skills you need at home.


I combine trauma awareness, emotional healing and comedy to heal painful events from your past, so you can live a future life you love; and have fun doing it.


John Nutting · September 16, 2010 at 7:15 am

I got a lot out of this post.
Thanks mate
John Nutting
Your writing style just gets better and better Graham.

    Graham · September 16, 2010 at 9:42 am

    Thanks John! I really appreciate the positive feedback. Cheers, Graham

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