CASE STUDY – RICHARD’S STORY
A young executive, temporarily unemployed, joined a public speaking group run by Andrew in Manchester. Richard was keen to develop his speaking skills but his challenge was a speech impediment which often affected his performance in interviews or other stressful situations.
In his first workshop, Richard presented a 5-minute talk and mentioned his fund-raising work in aid of a national charity. He had cycled from Manchester to Paris (dressed as a butler) and secured support from coffee chain Costa Coffee on the way.
Andrew encouraged him to use stories like this in interviews and as a result Richard secured employment. Some weeks later he spoke at another event organised by Andrew – with virtually no evidence of his stutter.
CASE STUDY – GEOFF’S STORY
Andrew had a request from a professional services firm to help one of their young executives (let’s call him Geoff) with his presentation skills. At their first meeting Andrew realised the young man actually had a different problem – Geoff didn’t think he was interesting and therefore struggled with small talk during dinners and networking events.
With a bit of coaxing Geoff revealed he’d been looking after his 2-year old niece but couldn’t see how that might interest anyone. But a nugget emerged when he talked about being a fast eater, in contrast to the toddler. Apparently, at mealtimes she stopped eating when he finished his food and the only way he could get her to have a decent meal was to slow down the pace of his own eating. “Do you mean you’ve been taught a lesson in how to eat properly by a two-year old?” asked Andrew.
Geoff liked that story, began to use it in small talk situations and won people over. Quite unexpectedly, his story also touched a very shy woman in his office who subsequently opened up and became Geoff’s new girlfriend!