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The Word by Sonder and Tell. Writing Worth Reading
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Last week, with mixed feelings of nerves and excitement, the Sonder & Tell team attended a full-day workshop on how to become a more powerful presenter, hosted by RADA Business. 


We all prepared 2-3 minute presentations, which we performed not once, not twice, but three times in total – with intermissions of breathing and movement exercises, lessons on how to employ pitch, tone, volume, pace and pause for maximum impact, plus live feedback from the team and our coach in between. We weren’t perfect presenters by the end of it, but we most certainly felt inspired and more equipped to become better ones.

 

As an agency that works with words, we spend a lot of time thinking about the what and the why of our words – what they look like written down, what the words mean, why we choose certain types of language over others. But our takeaway from the workshop was that it’s just as useful to stop and think about how we present the content we’ve produced. To not just write the words, but to set an intention for how you want to read the words aloud. To think about how we can use our entire physical presence – breath, body and voice – to persuade and excite and move the audience. Or maybe you want to challenge, provoke or warn them.

 

Whatever your aim is, we encourage you to be deliberate about your delivery so that your story has resonance. As writers, we know that words are compelling. But harnessing the power of the spoken word might just be the thing that makes your story stick.

NEED HELP FINDING YOUR BRAND'S VOICE?
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“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat. ”

― Theodore Roosevelt, Citizenship in a Republic
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Award-winning investigative journalist, documentary maker and presenter Catrin Nye has worked across various mediums throughout her career. She understands that crafting your story to suit the way that it’s intended to be presented is key to communicating effectively, saying, ‘you have to change the story to suit the medium and not the other way round. If you compare the way we open our story in written form and on television they could not be more different and that is vital.’ We caught up with Catrin to ask her about her top tips for better presentation and interviewing skills, the types of stories that catch her attention and her recent project BBC 3 documentary Jobfished.
READ THE INTERVIEW
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Humans have always been drawn to stories. They’re what connect us to each other and bring richness to our lives. Making space for the ancient tradition of oral storytelling, The Moth celebrates the universality and the diversity of the human experience. With themed open-mic events all across the globe, The Moth opens up its stage to the audience, encouraging them to take to the mic and tell their tales. What started out as intimate storytelling nights has now rolled out into a thriving Moth community, a podcast, performance workshops and much more, where storytellers can refine the art of crafting captivating tales.
LISTEN TO SOME STORIES
Pick a short piece of text from a presentation of your own – or even from a novel or a poem – and give each sentence a dynamic intention (e.g. do you want to persuade your audience? Perhaps empathise with them? Or warn them?). Keeping those intentions in mind, read the piece aloud.

Hit reply to submit your prompt
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Is a podcast the best test of presentation skills? Perhaps. Our co-founder Kate spoke to Young People Doing Things about the power of words, the unexpected things they can do for your business and how Sonder & Tell have helped brands like Rude Health, Bumble, Airbnb and Mindful Chef find their voice and tell their story.

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Sonder & Tell · Sonder & Tell, Unit 3 · 40 Bowling Green Lane · London, EC1R 0NE · United Kingdom