PRESENT YOUR STORY is a 6-hour private program to help you share your compelling story and ideas, letting others know who you are and what you stand for, to build a loyal following for your work, help spread your ideas, even start a movement.
Refine Your Message
Express your message succinctly, in a way that defines who you are, what you do, and why your work matters. Create a signature talk around a core idea that you care deeply about: the idea that drives you and your work.
Learn Leadership Qualities
Together we’ll work not only on your key messaging, but on your body language, voice, style and personal brand, and we’ll unlock any visibility fears that might be holding you back.
Express Your True Voice
Share your story and ideas in ways that are unforgettable, because you’re expressing your authentic voice and speaking your truth; and as a result, create trust and intimacy with others.
Expand Your Reach
Your unique story and message can be used not only on stage/camera but in media interviews, social media and newsletters too. You’ll connect deeply with audiences, build a loyal following, inspire others to share your message, and exponentially build your influence.
Hello, and welcome. I’m Catriona.
I’m committed to putting women’s stories in the spotlight,
and empowering the feminine voice.
Because you’re here, I’m guessing:
You have a positive message and/or a significant story that you’re longing to share with others.
You understand that a well-told personal story can make all the difference to your success, because it’s what forms a connection between you and others.
You know your material inside out, but you could use help with crafting your story in a distinctive, memorable way.
You want to be sure your story is full of verve, emotional honesty, and narrative power, for optimal impact.
You want to see your message make its way into the world, where it can do good as it’s intended to.
You want to see your message reach all the right people.
You know that the more people you reach, the more impact your message will have. And it’s a message that matters.
You know you can make a big, positive change in the world with your ideas, if you get the messaging right.
“There is no limit to what we, as women, can accomplish.” —Michelle Obama
PRESENT YOUR STORY helps you craft a clear and compelling story that offers a singular, vivid message that is easy to remember. It explores and shares aspects of your personal ‘heroine’s journey’ – a story that only you can tell – so you can make emotional connection and built trust with your readers / listeners.
PRESENT YOUR STORY prepares you for stepping into the spotlight.
We achieve all this together by harnessing four “superpowers.” Read on for details!
THE POWER OF STORY
Simply put, story is the essential ingredient to your success, because storytelling is the most effective way you can build a bridge between you and readers, listeners, viewers, potential clients. Story connects people through emotion, and it’s the best way to drive your ideas home, inspire others to action, and make a difference as a thought leader.
Yet sometimes we are simply too close to our own stories to be able to see them clearly. Particularly when we’re talking about real, lived experience. It’s amazing how blind we can be to what’s right in front of our own nose.
I help you to identify exactly what your core story is, and how to build a compelling personal narrative around it.
THE POWER OF VULNERABILITY
Times have changed. Successful leadership is no longer about pulling off a polished performance, or manipulating an audience; it’s about authenticity. This means it’s far more important to come from a position of ‘keeping it real’ when sharing your story, even if your delivery isn’t perfect, than pretending to be someone you are not.
Aren’t you most moved when you really feel the honesty in what someone is saying?
“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” ― Anais Nin
THE POWER OF GENEROSITY
Communicating with generosity involves letting go of the fear of not being good enough, or smart enough, or knowledgable enough – and re-framing your doubts, so you can become a powerful messenger.
Not as easy as it sounds? I can help. I’ve been through a massive journey with this fear, and come out the other end. Well into my adulthood I was the kind of shy that would mean breaking into a nervous sweat, then full-blown panic, when asked to express my opinion or speak in front of a group. My palms would sweat, my voice would constrict in my throat, I’d become dizzy and nauseous.
When I finally managed to turn this terror around, in order to successfully promote my book, it felt like the sun was shining on a very dark place. Nowadays I’m the on-stage presenter of the Jaipur Literature Festival in India each year, in front of half a million people over 5 days, as well as on live TV. This is the highlight of my year.
It’s my experience that when you love your work, or the body of work that you’re representing, then you can be the spokeswoman for that work, no matter where you appear on the fear spectrum.
Ultimately it isn’t about you, it’s about the quality of your message. When you know your message is of true value to others, your passion to share it becomes stronger than your desire to stay silent.
THE POWER OF PRESENCE
Your story is unlikely to stir emotional resonance, unless you remain powerfully present while delivering it, whether on stage or on camera. And in order to do that, you have to be comfortable being visible.
This can feel tricky. We want to deflect what feels uncomfortable. We fear being seen and heard. Many of us try to psychologically ‘disappear’ when confronted with standing in the spotlight: our nerves can be that strong.
This was certainly my experience. As a child, I was always the one hiding behind my mother’s legs. All I wanted was for the earth to swallow me up. This intense shyness continued right into adulthood. I shudder to imagine how many career opportunities passed me by for this one reason: I wanted to hide.
Happily, I found help in an unexpected way. I started learning about how to speak using my whole body, with the visionary American dance and movement teacher, Gabrielle Roth, back in 2005. I know it sounds peculiar, but I learned to speak by truly connecting to how I felt inside, through dance.
I bring embodiment techniques into our work together, to help you become comfortable, present and grounded when presenting your talk, communicating not only from your head but with your whole being, making sure you’re really feeling it.
When you express in a way that incorporates your body – when you embody your message – your audience feels it. This carries a whole different kind of energy, a higher energy, and that’s very affecting, whether you’re live in front of people, or on camera.
“When a woman tells the truth, she is creating the possibility for more truth around her” – Adrienne Rich
The Program, in a Nutshell
PRESENT YOUR STORY is a 6-hour program, divided into separate one-hour sessions, normally conducted over 6 weeks by Skype.
Together, we will focus on:
Nailing Your Message – We’ll laser-focus on your message, making sure we get to the core of who you are, the journey you’ve been on, the work you do, and why you do it – so you are able to express this in a way that’s both succinct and memorable.
Crafting Your Signature Story – You will draft your signature talk so that it’s clearly written in your own voice, but I’ll coach you along the way, with a special focus on getting to the heart of your personal story, and ensuring your structure and key messaging are truly compelling.
Presentation and Delivery – You’ll memorize and then rehearse your messaging and signature talk with me, paying attention to body language, voice, your style and personal branding. Practice is everything!
1. This program includes story editing by email between Skype sessions, as well as recommended reading, worksheets and personal development exercises.
2. If you have to achieve results in under 6 weeks, we can arrange a special schedule that’s tailored to your needs, including a 1-day intensive.
What’s The Investment? SPECIAL INTRODUCTORY RATE of $795, starting in September 2018.
Your SPECIAL BONUS
As your special bonus for signing up for the introductory rate, you will be the subject of a BRAVA Magazine interview (‘On the Rise’ section.)
This will take place at the end of our time together, and will give you the opportunity to immediately practice the messaging we’ve been working on in a media context. Our conversation will be published at BRAVA Magazine to boost your business or creative project.
“I think the best role models for women are people who are fruitfully and confidently themselves, who bring light into the world.” ―Meryl Streep
Are you thinking that this sounds good, but now isn’t the right time, or you don’t have the funds right now…?
Remember: failing to prepare is preparing to fail!
How do I know this is true?
The day before the launch in India of my book, Walking Towards Ourselves, I was unexpectedly called upon to give interviews on two different national TV stations.
In the first interview, the journalist was intrigued by the subject of the book. Her interest put me at my ease. Our conversation flowed.
The second journalist, however, could barely disguise his disdain. His lip curled into a snarl, and he spoke to me in a rough, offhand manner. This negative atmosphere would have thrown me way off balance, had I not prepared my key messaging in advance.
Of course you may be someone who is unruffled by hostile journalists and bored cameramen. But if you’re like me, if you’re thrown into a tough or high stakes situation and don’t have your messaging worked out in advance, you risk freezing, or messing up, at the very moment it matters most.
I was featured across the national news that evening. And I was happy with the way the interviews went, because I’d worked in advance on my key messaging, and knew what to say.
Approximately 3000 people turned up for the book launch the following day.
Don’t find yourself caught off-guard at a pivotal moment.
I don’t want to see opportunities slip by for you, just because of a lack of preparation. This is false economy, whereas investing in your story is investing in your success.
What You’ll Come Away With
- Your key messaging toolkit, including an elevator pitch and signature story;
- A refined message that’s memorable and can be easily shared, and feels true for you because it perfectly expresses your personality;
- A compelling personal narrative to draw on, not only on stage or on camera, but more broadly as well, in other communications such as your newsletters, Facebook lives, media interviews etc;
- An understanding of what makes you unique in your field, because of your own ‘heroine’s journey’ (which is unlike anyone else’s) and where it has led you;
- Fresh enthusiasm for being a spokeswoman for your work, having cleared away any doubt or hesitation that was holding you back;
- The ability to resonate with others, inspiring them to learn more about you, help spread the word about your work, or join your movement.
- PLUS your special bonus interview on BRAVA Magazine, if you sign up soon!
How does your coaching process work, when we’re in session?
My work as a coach is built on the understanding that you, as client, hold the keys to your own solutions and vision; it’s my job to ask powerful questions that lead to the clarity you long for; and to help you identify and then clear away the fears and doubts that are holding you back.
How does your work differ from a writing service?
Although it involves writing and editing, LONG STORY SHORT isn’t a writing or an editing service. I’m a story coach, and I place a large emphasis placed on you BEING your message. We’ll uncover how to link the personal and the professional, exploring your own ‘heroine’s journey’, so that the your talk could not have been written by anyone but you. We’ll also work on your personal presentation, your voice, your personal brand and your confidence, with time for rehearsal as well.
How much time investment is required, if I sign up?
LONG STORY SHORT takes place once a week over 6 weeks. We’ll meet on Skype for 60 minutes per session. NB if you need to achieve results in a shorter space of time, we can discuss a special schedule for you.
You will receive a welcome packet to fill out prior to commencing; and an additional time investment of 2-4 hours is required weekly, for personal development, worksheets, recommended reading, and redrafting your talk. Plus, there’s the follow-up bonus call for your BRAVA Magazine interview, if you sign up in time.
How is my personal story relevant to the success of my business?
There is no faster way to win people’s hearts and minds than by sharing your story with truth, with vulnerability, with light and shade; to openly declare the challenges and obstacles and victories that have brought your thinking to where it is today.
If you want people to like and trust you, to experience an immediate sense of who you are and what they have in common with you, your signature story is key.
Simon Sinek famously says, “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.” Telling your story gives you the opportunity to explain why you do the work you do, why you care about it and why others should too.
Do I really need this service? After all, I know my material better than anyone.
It’s entirely possible that you can see your story and ideas with some sense of objective distance, and can convey it well to others. But my work has taught me that even the most experienced professionals can use help with digging deep into the core of their message. With help to see your story from different angles, from a different viewpoint, it’s much easier to hone it down to its essence in a way that others can clearly grasp.
Often we are simply too close to our own material to be able to narrow it down to a few well-chosen words.
Are you a public speaking trainer?
No. There are people who specialize in this, and I’m not one of them. I help my clients refine their ideas and come up with a high-quality, potent message – knowing that when the message is of real value to others, confidence in sharing it comes a natural follow-on.
Yes, I offer tips on using the voice and body to strengthen communication and boost a sense of personal presence, but no, I’m not a public speaking expert.
My approach is entirely based on this belief:
You don’t need to be a born public speaker in order to be a powerful messenger. What you really need is confidence in the value of what you have to say, absolute clarity in your message, and to feel your passion for it, deep down into your cells and bones! Perfect delivery doesn’t matter half as much as honest, true delivery, because people know and respond positively to authenticity when they see it.
That’s not to invalidate public speaking training, which is of course extremely valuable. You might like to consider this, to enhance your on-stage performance once you have your signature story written.
Isn’t it time you presented your story, contributing your valuable experiences and insights to the cultural conversation?
Let’s start looking at your story today. In what way do you want to change the conversation in YOUR culture?