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The Travelling Speaker

by Pete Godfrey · 8 comments

The Travelling Speaker

FOREWORD: Something a little different today that you should enjoy. It’s a little story of mine based on a tale written by Margaret MacDonald, which she based on an old folktale.

You see, I’ve been polishing my story telling chops in preparation for our Cash Characters Academy Workshop in February.  I’ve been pouring through my files, organising my notes, getting templates together and writing a few more stories. The ability to write or tell a good, strategic story is an underrated skill in the minds of the masses. We know different. Copywriters, speakers, coaches, anyone who presents a case, know the value of stories… especially when it comes to teaching… we know the story remains with the audience long after the lesson has ended. Anyway, here’s a little one I wrote the other day… it contains an important lesson, one a few Gurus could take on board. Enjoy! And if you’ve got feedback on this, leave a comment and I’ll do my best to answer.

NOTE: On Thursday, as I promised last week, I’m going to give you 6 Tips For Writing YOU Focused Copy. And I’ll throw in a bonus tip to make it 7. Why? Well I’m a generous kinda guy and I like the number 7… so instead of 6, you now get 7… you can thank me later.

The Travelling Speaker

There once was a motivational speaker who used to tell mesmerising stories that captivated his audience. Whenever he was around other speakers, they would plead for him to tell a story.

“Tell us the one about when you were a boy, when you had that accident.”

“Tell us the one about the book that changed your life.”

“Tell us the one about…” and on it went. They just loved the way this guy told stories. No one could do it better. Sure they all knew his stories like the back of their hands, but no one else ever told them; because they loved the way HE told them.

Then the speaker began to travel, telling his stories on stages throughout the world. Thousands of people would show up to hear his stories, the audience spellbound, leaning forward in their seats with ears straining to catch his every word.

After a few years he decided to go home. On his return, the speakers of the town threw a big party for him.

That night at the party, the speaker began to tell a story.

“Oh, that’s Jim’s story,” the party goers said.

Puzzled, the speaker began telling another one of his stories.

“Oh, that’s Mary’s story,” said a woman in a red dress, the other party goers nodding their heads in agreement.

With a jolt of clarity, the speaker realised all of his stories were being told by other people.

He felt annoyed, angry, as if they had stolen his identity… so he left the party early and the next morning, visited his wise old speaking mentor.

“These are my stories, about me, about my life,” said the speaker to his mentor. “They’ve always been mine and now everybody is telling them. Surely they know the stories belong to me? What can I do? How can I stop them?”

The wise old mentor sat back in his chair, a smile forming on his lips as he puffed on his pipe. After a short pause, he looked at the speaker and said, “That’s an easy one to answer. Bring me your pillow.”

“My pillow?” asked the speaker, a little confused.

“Your pillow,” confirmed the mentor.

The speaker rushed home and returned with his pillow, giving it to his mentor who in turn held the pillow high, and slit it open with a hunting knife.

The feathers went everywhere. The strong wind carried the feathers down the street, into the neighbours’ yards, in the air they drifted amongst the town.

“What have you done?” asked the speaker.

“Your stories are like these feathers,” replied the mentor. “Once the story leaves your mouth, it is carried away in the hearts of your listeners… it no longer belongs to you.”

“Is there nothing I can do?” asked the speaker.

“Oh sure,” said the mentor, watching the feathers drift down the road. “You can let them go.”

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About The Author

Copywriter, Sales Strategist - Pete GodfreyPete Godfrey, The Wizard of Words, from rebel without a clue to one of the most in demand and highest paid Copywriters and Sales Strategists in Australasia… all with the power of his emotionally charged words that sell… Discover the “Secret Weapon” to increasing your Sales and Profits by downloading the valuable report "The Ultimate Copywriting and Marketing Secret" While you're at it, follow Pete on Facebook

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Steve Baker October 27, 2009 at 1:37 pm

Hey Pete,
Loved the story, but wasn’t it Bill’s from down the road!

No, really, it’s such a powerful little story and one that made me think about the impact I have had on all of my coaching clients with the words I have said and that now they are their’s to implement and prosper.

Thanks and keep em coming



Kurt October 27, 2009 at 2:55 pm

Well written Pete, a story within a story and you compelled me to read to the end – AGAIN ! Cheers Kurt


Robert Akeroyd October 27, 2009 at 5:46 pm

Hi Pete

Great story, if his audience had not been telling his stories he would of failed as a motivational speaker.



Leon October 27, 2009 at 6:54 pm

Hi Pete,
That story is true and is replicated many times within the Court of Law. A smart witness, as will a Legal representative, blurt out something that is knowingly inadmissible to sway the jury. Once the words have escaped the mouth and entered the ears of all, it’s too late.
Words spoken can be retracted but not forgotten.


Maria October 27, 2009 at 9:08 pm

Wow! Thankyou once again Pete. Your stories are so thought provoking. I love a story which is simplistic in it’s nature and also, on a deeper level, lends itself to the possibility of many interpretations. The perfect story is one that rings true in the reader’s heart and inspires that person to move forward in life and share this experience with others. Thankyou for your pearls of wisdom Pete.
Regards, Maria 😉
(aka Nicole)


Judd Leverton October 27, 2009 at 10:57 pm

The tide has turned Pete, now you’ve caused me to think ;O)

Some insights came to mind as to the possibility of your intended lesson, but I get the feeling they are not ‘on the money’. I’ll have to sit with this one for awhile and see what deeper message I gleam for you Pete.

Thanks for the story.


Henriette Martel October 28, 2009 at 10:21 am

Thanks Pete, great story.

It’s like keeping reinventing yourself to remain the expert in your field and stay ahead of followers.

Well, Pete you’re always a story ahead!


julie stewart March 29, 2010 at 9:42 pm

hi pete,
love your story,god job.
i’m sory i miss out your speak on 27th in brisbane would you like email me please? thank you very much


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